Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes, coming to you live in the middle of crazy season, with all the partygoing, toasting, gift shopping, cookie baking — the blitz of spangly, year-end exuberance.
When I finally get home, I’m totally beat. I want dinner to just be done, but for it still to be pretty good. (Standards!) So here are some of the best fast recipes I know on NYT Cooking. Not a single one takes longer than 30 minutes, and most are faster than that. If you have freezer reserves, draw on those too. (On Wednesday I heated up turkey meatballs that I’d stockpiled alongside jarred tomato sauce, toast from the freezer and brussels sprouts on the side.) Or order a pizza or enchiladas. Do what you need to do! And as always, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are five dishes for the week:
David Tanis’s midnight pasta.
CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.
I want to write a love song for this pasta, that’s how good it is. (But then again, I like capers, and in fact spent my honeymoon on an island that is famous for its capers.) You can skip the anchovies, capers or both if you don’t have them, don’t like them or, in the case of the anchovies, want to make this vegetarian. The recipe is written for two people, but of course you can double it. A green salad with lemon dressing would go well alongside.
It’s sort of crazy how much people like this recipe: just cumin, garlic, chiles, a big can of chickpeas and a pound of ground beef, though pork or turkey (preferably dark meat) would work too. Or omit the meat altogether and add some vegetables (I’d try chopped cauliflower florets). Serve with rice or pita, a dollop of yogurt, lots of herbs and sautéed spinach.
These cutlets take all of 15 minutes and go with pearl couscous, buttered egg noodles, pesto pasta, potatoes, farro, a main-course green salad with a Dijon dressing, cauliflower rice — you get my drift. Nail this and you’ll always have a good way to cook chicken breast.
Thanks for reading! It’s not too late to give someone you really love (or just kind of like or are related to) a gift subscription to NYT Cooking! Or treat yourself to a subscription; you’ll need it in January. You can follow NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, or follow me on Instagram. Previous newsletters are archived here. I’m email@example.com, and if you have any problems with your account, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Lastly, if you’re a parent, check out the Well Family newsletter, with news and expert advice.