I keep three canisters with different shapes and colors of pastas on my kitchen counter for emergencies, which means I have just invited guests over for dinner tonight and I don’t have time to go out grocery shopping. Dried pastas inside glass canisters make beautiful decorative pieces on the kitchen counter and great conversational pieces at the dinner table. Make sure you choose pastas with interesting shapes. There is a pasta shape that goes well with different sauces or meats.
Keep your kitchen stocked with at least two different style pastas, some tomato sauce, some garlic, onions, and homemade broth and you can go a long ways creating any last-minute meal.
1 lb chuck roast or boneless beef round steak
8 oz pasta of any shape (the one shown in the photo is riccioli)
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp crushed dried marjoram or basil
Trim the fat from around the meat, cut the meat into 3/4 inch cubes and then coat the meat with flour. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook half of the meat in hot oil until browned. Remove from the saucepan and set aside. Add the remaining meat, onion and garlic to saucepan and cook until meat is brown. If necessary, add more oil to pan. Drain off excess fat and return all the meat to the saucepan.
Stir in beef broth, marjoram and black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, in bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. On average for pasta al dente, I usually boil pasta uncovered for 7 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover, and let the pasta rest in the hot water for another minute. Drain and rinse briefly in cold water.
Stir noodles into the sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook uncovered until the noodles are heated through. If desired, service with fresh parsley or grated cheese of your choice sprinkled on top. (In the picture shown, I have grated Gouda cheese).