Food

5 days of easy, simple dinners: Meatloaf, chicken, pasta and more

TODAY

My word for the week is simplicity. When the noise of modern life gets to be too loud I like to combat it by simplifying wherever I can, and one of the best places is in the kitchen. The recipes for the week are all made with 6 ingredients or less (not counting olive oil, salt and pepper) so require less time, money and effort, and more—you got it—simplicity (try saying it 4 times, it has a lovely sound). All are quick to prepare with the exception of the meatloaf, which only has 3 ingredients, but requires a bit of advance prep because after the ribs are braised and shredded, the meat gets compressed in the fridge overnight—it sounds more involved than it actually is, I think. And if the fritters seem as though they need supplementing to make a meal, try roasting some carrots to go with. They’re in season and really flavorful right now, especially when roasted for about 20 minutes with some salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity, yes.

MONDAY:

TUESDAY:

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

FRIDAY:

Shopping list:

  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 medium-large onions
  • 4 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound butternut squash
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, chervil, marjoram, dill
  • 2 quarts chicken or veal stock
  • 1 pound mezzi rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves, pounded to a ¼-inch thickness
  • ¼ pound slab bacon
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 4 fillets of grouper or snapper, 6-8 ounces each
  • 4 pounds short ribs if boneless (5 pounds short ribs if bone-in)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

Pantry items:

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Eggs (2)
  • Flour
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