When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. Women go right on cooking.
Once upon a time, I was talking to my mother on the phone. We were chatting about this and that and the topic of dinner came up: the Big question: what to have? I personally think it is one of life's hardest, although sometimes I do pretty well thanks to almost daily cravings for certain foods guiding the way.
This particular day, I had come up with an amazing little menu for what to have for dinner. My mother mumbled something halfway apologetically about having some plans for soup. She finished up by saying, "I just don't love to cook like you do, you know?"
Well, I don't either, I quickly informed her. And beyond that, I certainly could see how she had had to cook for years squelched much inspiration and joy she had for cooking. My father is a firm believer of eating at home, always, so my mother had dinner on the table pretty much every night of the year for God knows how many years (a lot) and still cooks daily for my dad. Add to that that we all had our little, and big, eating whims and you really have a nightmare on your hands.
In my situation, I have the luxury of enjoying cooking because I don't have to deal with picky eaters, Patrick and I like to eat out (not very often anymore, but certainly more than my parents), and Patrick works away from home pretty regularly. When he is away, I will often make a big pot of soup and eat it for dinner for days. So easy. Cooking for me is fun because I don't have to make a big production of it if I don't want to. And often, I don't.
In this vein, I discovered a dinner the other night that turned out really well and was really easy, I hope this helps make someone else's evening a little more relaxing:
Pasta with peppers and sausage
Start pasta water to boiling
un-case one, sweet turkey Italian sausage, saute and crumble
When mostly cooked, add half a jar roasted peppers with some of the juice to deglaze the pan
cut peppers into whatever size you want, you can just chop them in the pan with your stirrer
Add cooked pasta and a little pasta water and cook it all together for a few minutes
Season with salt and pepper (I always season last) and viola!
You can add lots of variations to this: I sometimes add sliced garlic and onions to saute in with the sausage. Fresh herbs and lots of parmesan cheese at the end also seem like a good idea. Red pepper flakes might be amazing addition if you are not feeding too tender of palates. This is a great go to pasta dish for a quick and easy dinner on nights you don't feel like cooking.