So, anyway, what's for dinner? You've probably already sussed out that I'm In Charge of Dinner. It's for the best, and if you ask me, I'll tell you I like cooking... but I don't like being the one who HAS to cook. If you ask me what's for dinner, suddenly there's a shift from me wanting to cook to me having to cook... like it's expected of me. Which: Of course it is, but I hate to admit it and I go all Sgt. Grumbles about it. What is up with that, anyway? I'm so weird.
Sidebar: Almost every day, on the drive home from work, Tim will lovingly look deep into my cheekbone (because I'm watching the road, right?) and sweetly ask me the following question...
"What would you like to do for dinner?"
This makes me irrationally angry (and yes, I do know it is irrational, see how I used "irrationally"?) because it's not about what I want to do for dinner, it's never about what I want to do for dinner! After doing stuff for everybody else since the minute I get up, and working all day, and picking everybody up and driving everybody home, what I want to do for dinner is exercise my takeout-ordering dialing finger, or have somebody else cook, or just generally have dinner magically appear (and have a clean kitchen at the end of it, thanks). The real question, I posit, is "What are you, my wife, the same person who cooks dinner almost every night, going to be cooking for dinner on this night? BTW did I mention I'm hungry?" but Tim swears that he asks me what I want to do for dinner because he's being considerate... and because sometimes I tell him to microwave queso. Which: true. (And he's very sweet, and I can be... cranky. Ish. SHUT UP.)
Tonight, I'm going to make what I call Chicken Pasta. Generic, no? But my family knows what it means when I say that, so that's what I call it. Again, this is not a test of precise measuring and if you ask me how much of what goes in I'm likely to tell you "a bunch", or "some", or "whatever looks right". Typically, I make enough food to feed an army/pack for lunch the next day.
- Pasta (I like this Penne Rigate), and I use the whole 13.5oz box
- Chicken (use whatever you want, but know this: Popcorn chicken is the best.)
- 2 cans Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with garlic and olive oil (you can use spaghetti sauce, or whatever - you'll see what I do with these below)
- Mozzarella cheese
While the pasta is cooking according to package directions, cook the chicken (as much as you need to feed your number of people) in a large pan or pot sprayed with nonstick stuff. Cook until it's hot (for frozen pre-cooked popcorn, this is generally until it is heated through). After it's hot, reduce the heat, and add tomatoes.
Now, what I do with the tomatoes depends on my mood. Sometimes I just dump both cans into the chicken, sometimes I dump one can in as-is and puree the other. Up to you. Once the tomato is in and hot, drain the pasta and mix it in.
Cut your mozz into 1/4 inch cubes, sprinkle it over the top of the chicken/sauce/pasta, and cover the whole thing for a couple minutes until the cheese is soft. Don't stir too much or you'll make a big cheeseball mess.
I like to have a salad with this - my current favorite is Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce salad in the bag, and now I wish I'd never, ever, Googled bagged salad. I can't un-know those things, Internet Nation! Why do you ruin everything I love? WHY?