Parents love back-to-school season because it gets the whole family back on a schedule. Parents hate back-to-school season because that schedule usually leaves too little time to get dinner on the table.
The meals we do make need to be particularly fast and easy. That was the inspiration for this pasta dinner, a rethinking of the classic steak and cheese grinder, but as a comforting bowl of carbs.
Start to finish: 25 minutes
12-ounces whole-wheat spaghetti or other pasta
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 pound flank steak, sliced very thinly across the grain
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small glass, mix together the soy sauce, tomato paste, water and cornstarch. Set aside.
While the pasta cooks, in a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion, both peppers and the garlic. Saute until tender and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the steak and saute until just barely cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and return to a simmer, cooking for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss well to coat with the sauce and mix with the vegetables and steak. Add the cheese and toss until melted and mixed into the sauce.
Nutrition information per serving: 510 calories; 140 calories from fat (27 percent of total calories); 16g fat (6g saturated; 0g trans fats); 60mg cholesterol; 51g carbohydrate; 6g fiber; 4g sugar; 42g protein; 650mg sodium.