At the front of every issue of Food Network magazine is a calendar with suggestions for simple meals that don’t really require a recipe. One of those recipes has become a staple for days when I’m tired and don’t really want to put that much effort into making dinner.
I used to be suspicious of 3-5 ingredient recipes because I assumed you were giving up something in order to make the dish easier to cook. This is not the case. Often getting back to basics brings food back to life. And sometimes, fewer ingredients means less work and less time consumed cooking. It’s the perfect answer for lazy nights.
- 1 can of tomato soup
The original recipe calls for three items: 1) a can of tomato soup, 2) orzo pasta, and 3) goat cheese. I have tried this with multiple cheeses, brands of soup, and types of pasta. It really is a combination that can be changed in any number of ways to suit your preferences. My favorite is Campbell’s tomato soup (I tried organic soups but found them too sweet), gnocchi, and goat cheese. The goat cheese really adds an extra creaminess so I would really recommend you give it a try!
On a lazy weekday night, I grabbed some gnocchi and a can of soup from the pantry and some shredded cheese. The pictures are here, but honestly it’s very simple.
1) Cook the pasta according to the package.
I made gnocchi. You boil water, add the gnocchi, then remove the pasta with a slotted spoon when it starts to float. For 99% of other pastas, you’ll boil water, cook the pasta, and strain it.
2) Drain the water from the pot (if you haven’t already). Add the tomato soup and pasta.
3) Mix in the goat cheese. Or sprinkle cheese into the hot soup.
The heat can be very low or off. If the pot is hot, it will melt the cheese.
It’s not exactly “cooking” per se, but it is marginally more challenging than making a box of mac & cheese. Plus it gives you the chance to experiment. Add spices, try different cheeses, and different pastas for new flavors and textures. First, I’d really recommend the original orzo, tomato soup, and goat cheese combo if you’ve never tried it. Then make it your own! Share what you’ve added and I’ll try it on my own!