Get our newsletters

Thoughts from an Epicure: Quick and easy dinners


No matter how much I enjoy cooking, there are times when I’m in a hurry or just don’t feel like making a “traditional” dinner.

Through the years, I’ve come up with a few simple meals that don’t require a lot of time or effort. I call one of them “noodle dinner.”

For the two of us, I use 2 cups of medium noodles, which I cook for 10 minutes, making them not quite soft. We usually have link sausages in the freezer. I use one. The noodles go into cold water to hold them, while the sausage goes into a saucepan with cold water. It’s boiled until the meat is done. While it’s boiling, I dice ½ cup of onions. I next put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into my 10-inch skillet, and set it on low heat. When the sausage is ready, I drain the boiling water and run cold water in the pan until the sausage is cool enough to handle. I quarter the link the long way and then cut the meat into pieces about the same size as the diced onion.

While I’m cutting the sausage, I turn the skillet heat up to medium high. Now, it’s time to heat the noodles. Once the temperature is up, I saute the onion and sausage in the oil, stirring often to keep things from burning. By doing it this way, both are ready at the same time. I drain the noodles and put them into the skillet to cook a short time with the other ingredients. While they’re heating, I add grated sharp cheddar cheese, about 1 full cup. Sometimes, if I have any on hand, I’ll also put in ¼ cup of tomato sauce. After everything has blended and is hot, I serve it. It’s easy and quicker than a full dinner.

Enjoy and be safe!

If you have questions or suggestions for this column, please contact me directly at

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.