Friday, March 7, 2008

Bow-Tie Pasta with Beef and Tomatoes

I'd been planning on making this meal for a few weeks, but we got distracted by life and such, so it kept getting put off. Finally, a few days ago, I put it on our schedule and got to try something I'd been keen on trying for a while.

This is from my Betty Crocker cookbook, and my biggest issue with this particular cookbook is that their ideas on serving sizes, cook time, and prep time is WAY off. Sure, this is a 'five minute' prep for a professional, or if you don't count the time it takes for the pasta to cook (and I tend to do that). But, for the average housewife or everyday chef, there's no way it's just 5-minutes of prep. However, I do tend to be a little more methodical with my prep and my cooking, so who knows? Maybe it would take 5 minutes.

I suppose I should also mention that this recipe calls for 'frozen stir fry bell peppers and onions (1 lb. bag).' Well, a few weeks ago I was planning on going grocery shopping and wasn't feeling well, so Graham went for me. I just wrote 'stir fry veggies--frozen' on my list because I knew what it meant. Well, he didn't, so he just bought a large bag of stir fry vegetables. Not just any bag--a family sized bag! I had to compensate for this, so be sure to read my notes below.

Bow-Tie Pasta with Beef and Tomatoes
2 cups uncooked farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions (from 1 lb bag)
1 lb thinly sliced beef for stir fry
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Fresh basil leaves, if desired
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook frozen stir fry vegetables in oil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in beef. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently until beef is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes, garlic salt, and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up tomatoes slightly with a spoon, until mixture is hot. Stir in pasta. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until pasta is well coated and hot. Garnish with basil and serve with cheese.

Notes:
  • I couldn't find any beef to use, and eventually I stumbled on 'thin sliced' sandwich sirloin. It worked well, though it took a little longer for this to turn pink that regular 'thin sliced' beef. I also only used half a pound since there are only two of us.
  • Because we had so many vegetables but not enough meat, I tried to balance it with the two cups of pasta. That helped, but next time we'll definitely make sure the meat and veggies are balanced.
  • The stir fry veggies we used were soooooooooo good. Super easy to use, and, while I love to cook I always like a 'short cut' now and then. They cooked really fast and were very bright in color. We used the Pictsweet brand, Deluxe Stir Fry Japanese Stir Fry vegetables. The bag included onions, carrots, broccoli, and green beans.
  • Because there were so many vegetables, next time I will most likely omit the tomatoes. They didn't add too much, and since the vegetables came already brewed in soy sauce, I didn't they they added anything special.
  • I omited the basil and Parmesan cheese. I forgot about the basil, and we didn't have any parm on hand. Overall, the way this turned out was great. If I actually follow the recipe some time, maybe I'll add them as a garnish, but the way this stands it was fine without them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Why, hello there! Thanks for visiting. Have something to share? ::points down::