Photo: Lynn Andriani
1. Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil
Put a pot of water on to boil. Separately, sauté 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Cook the pasta, drain and then toss with the garlic, grated Parmesan, a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Depending on how much cheese you use, you may not need to add salt.
2. Chicken Sausage Hash
Use chicken sausage that's fully cooked (this is the only way we've ever seen it sold), so all you have to do is warm it. Brown the sausage in some olive oil, take it out of the pan and add peeled, diced turnips. Let the vegetables brown for a few minutes, then pour in a cup of apple cider. Scrape up any bits of sausage or turnip that have stuck to the pan, season with salt and pepper, put the lid on and simmer until the turnips are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and keep simmering until the cider reduces to a glaze. Put the sausage back in the pan and continue cooking until hot. Serve with buttered noodles.
3. Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Garlic
The key to this recipe is a very hot oven (475°). Turn it on as soon as you get into the kitchen so it has ample time to preheat. Rub two pork tenderloins (each about a pound) with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and any other spices you like (oregano and rosemary are two that go nicely with pork). Put them on a rimmed baking sheet with whole cloves of peeled garlic that you've coated with oil. Roast for about 20 minutes, being careful not to overcook the pork. When an instant-read thermometer registers 145°, take the meat out and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Spread the now-soft garlic on the pork or on bread.
4. Personal Pizzas
To make this old standby, set your oven to 400°. Spread Trader Joe's pocketless pitas or the bigger-sized Thomas' English muffins with jarred pizza sauce (we like Barilla Marinara and Rao's Homemade Pizza Sauce), slices of fresh mozzarella, basil and any other toppings you like. They'll cook in about 12 minutes.
Next: A sushi bowl, a super-fast stir-fry and veggie chili in less than a half-hour