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Angel Hair Pasta with Meat Sauce

Quick Easy MealsAn easy, quick meal for hectic nights. Especially good for those nights when you didn’t think ahead for meatballs.

  • 1 lb (or so, really, it’s just one “package”) ground chicken.
  • 1 jar (yeah, I said “jar”) Ragu Traditional. (It’s what they like.)
  • 1 package angel hair pasta. (Cooks in 2 minutes FLAT.)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (extra light for kids)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (get the jars of it in the produce aisle – saves chopping, but it’s still decent.)
  • 1 dash of salt. (One dash = approx. a dime-size low pile in your palm.)
  • one wooden spoon (this won’t scratch your non-stick skillet)
  • one pasta fork. (Don’t have a pasta fork regular fork will do.)
Get two pans ready:
  • one large non-stick skillet, and have a lid that at least SORT of fits.
  • one pot for the pasta. Fill up the pasta pot with water, so it’s ready when you are.)
  1. Into the skillet: 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium-ish heat. (I prefer flame, over electric.)
  2. When the oil’s a bit hot, add the garlic, but don’t let it get brown.
  3. Add the meat. Just go ahead and unwrap it (I use latex gloves, but I’m super-sanitary and freak about salmonella) and plop it, rectangular and all, into the pan. Dump the trash into the trash, and be sure the dogs and cats can’t get it, or they WILL.
  4. Let it sit a bit. The more cooked it is, the easier it will be to start breaking it up into chunks. So make yourself some coffee, but DO keep an eye on it for the five-to-ten minutes this will take.
  5. When the chicken starts turning white, start breaking it up into meaty little chunks with the wooden spoon, and stirring them around a bit, so they cook ALL THE WAY THROUGH. (You’re sort of making a spaghetti sauce sloppy joe, if you haven’t got the idea yet.)
  6. When the meat’s done – and you can season it to taste, but my kids like their food PLAIN, open the jar of Ragu and pour.
  7. Since I am CHEAP – I mean, FRUGAL, I hate to see that last little bit of sauce go to waste. So I go to the sink, pour a tiny bit of water in it, slosh it around with the jar lid on, and then pour THAT in, too. (Waste not, want not.)
  8. Stir until all chunklings are covered.
  9. Cover pan. (This will keep everything hot and cooking for the two minutes your pasta is going.)
  10. NOW: cook your angel hair. Two minutes. Easy.
  11. Drain, but do not rinse, your pasta. Add second tablespoon of oil to pasta to keep it from getting sticky. (I put the colander right back on top of the pan, and serve from the stove on hectic nights.)
  12. Serve with parmesan cheese. My youngest likes her spaghetti to look fuzzy.
Lots of steps, but really, this IS easy.
* NOTE: This recipe first appeared on Twittermoms.

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