So my husband was recently gone for what felt like an eternal golf trip and I spent most of the time doing as many fun things with my two little girls while also trying to make sure the house didn’t look like it had been attacked by the Tasmanian devil himself. Food-wise, the weekend consisted of a lot of pizza, cheeseburgers, and chicken, so when Sunday evening finally rolled around, I couldn’t take it anymore… I needed a real meal, not a kid meal, but a hearty, veggie filled dish that I could sneak past my kids. And so my Ribeye and Veggie Orecchiette was born…
This is a super easy, really fast one pot dinner that should be on your table in 20 minutes flat. This is a sauceless pasta, which means that most of the moisture will come from adding some pasta water at the end of the cooking process. The trick to making this super-fast is to prep all of your ingredients when you’re waiting for pasta and veggies to cook.
I use shallot in place of onion- it’s good for kids actually, Alex doesn’t love chunks of onion, but likes the sweetness of shallot. (Note: If you haven’t used shallot before, it’s in the onion family but looks closer to a cousin of garlic. It’s sweeter than a regular onion yet milder. They keep really well, but don’t refrigerate them, keep them where you keep your garlic cloves. To prep: chop off both ends and peel outer layer similar to an onion – more dicing tips below.) Feel free to sub your favorite veggies – it’ll be yummy regardless. You could add a can of drained diced tomatoes if you want more of a sauce.
• 1 ½ lbs. Ribeye (about 2 steaks) (could also use a sirloin)
• 1 large shallot (or 2 smaller), finely diced (could use ¼ Vidalia onion if that’s all you have on hand)
• 1 large clove garlic, finely minced (please do not use the pre-minced jarred stuff, but I won’t judge)
• 1 large or 2 smaller Zucchini (could also use yellow squash or eggplant), diced small
• 2 large carrots, peeled and diced small
• 1 lb. Orecchiette pasta
• 2 T. Olive Oil
• Kosher Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (It should taste like the sea) Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
While the water is boiling/pasta cooking, prep veggies. They should be about the same size. I cut the carrots and zucchini lengthwise first, cut each into long strips, kind of stack them together and chop. This should give you a pretty uniform dice. For the shallot, cut similar to an onion – make several vertical cuts and then take your knife and make one horizontal cut and then dice. Mince the garlic. Over medium high heat, heat 1 T. olive oil the largest skillet you have, add veggies. Season with ½ tsp. salt and about 8 turns of the pepper mill (equals roughly ¼ tsp. pre-ground). (Note: the salt brings out the moisture from the veggies and keeps them from browning. You’re really just trying to “sweat” the veggies, not brown them.) If you need a little more moisture, add a touch more oil.
While the veggies are cooking, cut the ribeyes into long strips and then cube in the same size as the carrots and zucchini. When the veggies are softened (about 5-7 minutes), add beef to the veggies. Season with just a pinch of salt and more pepper. (Note: it’s important that you season each layer. If you don’t season the beef, it will turn out bland. Make sure you don’t add too much salt because you will be adding some pasta cooking water to make the “sauce”). Cook for 5 minutes. Because the meat is chopped small, it will cook very fast and you don’t want to overcook it.
Pasta: reserve 1 C. of cooking liquid. Drain pasta. Add to the beef and veggie mixture. If it’s dry, add a little bit of pasta water in increments. Combine thoroughly.