Welcome to the first Thursday of November. If you’ve been around for a while (thanks!), then you know that today is National Men Make Dinner Day. There are only five rules. The biggie is that the men must cook – no barbecuing, grilling or ordering take out is allowed.
The main entrée must include a minimum of 4 ingredients, and require at least once cooking utensil other than a fork. Why other than a fork is beyond me. Aside from scrambled eggs, I can’t think of anything I cook with a fork. Oh – fluff rice – does that count?
The man must do the shopping for all the necessary ingredients. Since Hubby and I shop together each week, that’s easy in our house.
The man must clean up as he goes. Hum, Hubby is usually cleaning up behind me, and it makes me a little crazy. I’ll sit down my spoon or spatula and before I know what’s happened he’s cleaned it and put it away. Hubby is really good at the cleaning as you go rule. Kiddo not so much.
Finally, aprons are optional. I don’t think I’ve ever seen either of my men folk in an apron. Heck, I don’t wear one as much as I need to. I did buy a giant shirt with the brilliant idea that I’d protect my clothes with a big shirt, but that’s still on a hanger, never used.
Oh, and one more thing – if you are the guy who cooks on a regular basis, that’s great. It means you are in the majority these days. It also means Nation Men Make Dinner Day is not a challenge for you. This is intended for that man who is at home with a tool belt but lost with a whisk in his hand.
Now in our house, Thursday usually translates to Tuscan Thursday, and that means we usually enjoy something Italian Inspired. This pasta dish is both delicious and so easy, even a novice in the kitchen will hit a home run.
Penne Pasta with Sausage in Tomato-Cream
1/2 White Onion
4 Garlic Cloves
1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style Whole Tomatoes
4 cups Penne Pasta
1 lb Bulk Mild Italian Sausage
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1-1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
Cut onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half the onion for another purpose. Peel and dice remaining half, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Drain whole tomatoes, coarsely chop and set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 11 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
Heat deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onions are tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, salt and Italian Seasoning. Simmer until mixture thickens, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through. Snip parsley, scatter over pasta in the skillet. No need to move to a bowl – it’s “manly” to serve from the skillet, don’t you think?
Serve with warm bread and a simple toss salad.
Looking for more ideas? For an amazing Three-Course Supper, try Let the Men Folk Cook! Everything from a salad to an awesome chicken dish. Too complicated? How ’bout a truly male-pleasing Chuck Roast – Slow-Cooker Texas Chili shared in Let the Men in the Kitchen. Both are well-worth another look.