Lunch With Lin: Fried Pasta

By Linsa Dean

lndean@lc.edu

Sometimes life hits a bit hard and we just need good, easy-to-make food. That was what inspired this recipe. I’ve been making versions of this since I was in high school (which was almost a decade ago). It’s easy, versatile, and changeable! 

I recommend using a pot to boil pasta and a high-sided skillet for sautéing everything! That said this can easily be done as a 1 pot meal by only cooking in a large pot, just be aware to stir frequently and scrape the bottom of the pot. 

 

I present to you: Lin’s Fried Pasta

 

For my version you will need: 

  • 1-2 Tablespoons of minced garlic (store-bought is fine!)
  • 1 Bell pepper of your preferred color, diced
  • ½ – 1 small onion, diced
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter.
  • 1 box of your fave pasta
  • 1 Pound of protein: I used a cheap sirloin from Schnucks and cubed it. About 1-2 inch cubes.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder (about 2 Teaspoons)
  • Onion Powder (about 2 Teaspoons)

 

  1. Prep all of your ingredients.
  2. Boil a large pot of water with 2 teaspoons of salt added.  Once boiling add the box of pasta and cook until slightly firm. It will cook a bit more once added to the other ingredients so don’t overcook! Once cooked, drain into a colander and allow to sit. 
  3. While the pasta cooks, brown your protein in a tablespoon of oil. Medium to medium-high heat. Be sure to add salt, pepper, and spices to taste!
  4. Once the meat is browned (but not fully cooked!) add in your peppers. 
  5. Wait for the peppers to begin to soften and then add in your onions and garlic. 
  6. Stir everything together until the meat is mostly cooked (I use a meat thermometer). I like my steak a bit pink so I keep an eye on the temp and the lesser cooked sides of the meat. Make sure you follow appropriate cooking directions for your chosen protein. Chicken must be cooked to 165 degrees, and have no pink. 
  7. Once the veggies have softened, add your pasta and more oil. Toss everything together to coat with oil. 
  8. Taste your pasta and adjust the seasoning as needed (I normally need to add more salt). 

If cooking in a skillet then look for the edges of your pasta to become a bit crisp and the spice powders to be browned. If cooking in a pot you may find the pasta stays a bit softer. Look for the spices to taste cooked and everything to be evenly seasoned. You may need to add more oil depending on your cooking times and method. This whole dish should only take about 20 minutes to make and makes enough for a week’s worth of lunches!

 

Suggested adaptations: 

  • Add in some cayenne for some heat.
  • Replace the beef with tofu, chicken, or pork (If you try fish with this let me know!) 
  • Add as much or as little veggies as you want! 
  • Goes really well with garlic bread!
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