Creamy Rigatoni Pasta! The Easiest Pasta You’ll Ever Make. Using all pantry staples, plus an onion, garlic and heavy whipping cream or milk.
This is a long post about how I’m feeling these days and thoughts I wanted to share so feel free to jump down to the recipe.
I usually wake up before my alarm goes off. 5am, 6am and I’m up and out of bed by 6:15am. Ready and excited to start the day. First, I wake up Phoebe because her bus comes first and she needs to be up, fed, ready and out the door to catch her bus at 7am. Next comes Madeline, who gets to sleep in every morning until 7:30am because her bus arrives at 8:20am.
Then, I’m off to my exercise class and I get my day going. Running errands, cleaning, cooking, writing recipes, writing blog posts, conference calls, you name it.
That was only three weeks ago.
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING
As we all know, on March 16th, the White House announced a program called “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” and our lives have been drastically different from that point on. It’s amazing what can happen and change in the course of just two weeks.
This is all very serious. I’m not going to recap anything you don’t already know. I just wanted to share what I have been doing, how we have been coping (a lot of you have kindly asked) and what’s in my head right now.
I’ve honestly never read the news as much as I have within the past two weeks. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I’m hopeful. It’s gotten a little bit better but at the beginning of this week, there was little to no motivation to get out of bed. No excitement. No drive. Nothing. It’s like we are living in a movie. But we are not. This is life right now.
As you all may know, we are renting an apartment in Malvern, PA. I slowly feel myself going crazy. I am used to going out every day. Every single day. I’m vacuuming the floors every day. My husband and I are fighting. We’re just irritating each other. We are human. Thank God we changed our minds at the last minute and rented a three bedroom apartment, as opposed to a two bedroom. Obviously, he’s working from home now and has set up his office in Madeline’s room. Who knows how long life will be like this so I am thankful that there can be some sort of work/life separation just to keep us all sane.
We’re all going a little stir crazy but what are we going to do? Make this Creamy Rigatoni Pasta!
I realized a few days ago that my kids are looking to me for stability, for comfort. Of course I already know this but I was reminded of this again. Online school starts on Monday, tomorrow. We’ve been getting outside and taking walks and doing jumping jacks in the vacant parking lot next to our apartment building.
We’ve been cooking. We’ve been baking. Madeline is making cakes, and pancakes and cinnamon covered apple slices and frozen grapes. I ordered sewing kits, fabric and books for the kids that should arrive (my fingers are crossed Amazon) on Tuesday. I signed up for ButcherBox. I signed up for Daily Harvest so we can have smoothies every morning and not worry about not having or not being able to find certain ingredients at the grocery store.
I am truly thankful for everything we have.
We are all healthy. We have food. We hope you try this Creamy Rigatoni Pasta. We have beds to sleep on. We have FaceTime so we can talk to our families in Texas, CA and MN. No one knows how long this is going to last and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the world to go back to normal. I do hope that everything can begin to re-open again on or very shortly after Easter Sunday. Will that really happen? No one knows.
WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
What do we do now? Just take it one day at a time. We’re watching a lot of movies together. We’ll keep up with the daily walks and getting fresh air; and I am so thankful that we can still do this. That statement is crazy. I am so thankful that we can even leave our apartment to go outside and get fresh air. Who would have thought that this would be our lives in March 2020?
I will focus on the positive. I will keep my eyes looking forward and see how I can help. Local businesses, restaurants, businesses back in Madison, Wisconsin, etc. Friends, my heart is over there. My heart is breaking for everyone fighting to keep their businesses alive and running.
A friend of mine back in Waunakee, Wisconsin is making masks. Jay has raised over $8,000 and still needs help in reaching his goal of $10,000. Go Fund Me link is here.
If you’ve read this entire post, thank you. I know it may seem jumbled. My direct messages on Instagram: Someone told me to stop rambling on my Instagram stories, another person told me that I need to stop going grocery shopping and do online grocery shopping, another person said that I shouldn’t be taking my kids outside. Another person said that I am not being serious enough.
This is what you face when you put yourself and your family on social media. It is what it is. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I don’t want to focus on that. I guess the only reason I mention that is because I struggle everyday. With what I want to share here and online. With what I want to do with my little space on the internet. All I know is that what is happening in our world right now is crazy and I wanted to have written something here to remember it. To remember what I was feeling and I just wanted to share a recipe with you all and be myself.
Creamy Rigatoni Pasta
Creamy Rigatoni Pasta! I went to Whole Foods yesterday to grocery shop. I also wanted to see what was left on the shelves. Pasta, pasta sauce and flour is almost wiped out. I could find pretty much everything else I needed. Most stores now, as they should, are limiting the number of canned goods and some pantry staples to one (depending on where you are shopping) to four cans per person as the limit.
I was able to buy one box of rigatoni and canned tomatoes. And I made this. If you do not have any pasta or access to any pasta, please let me know. I use anchovy paste in this recipe as a flavor booster. If you don’t have any, that’s fine but if you can find some, or have some to use, it adds a little umami in my opinion. I also offer subs if you don’t have any heavy cream. The fresh basil is great if you have it, if not, don’t sweat it. The beauty of this recipe is that you can tailor this pasta and use this as a base and foundation to make other pastas. Use what you have and improvise if you need to. We hope you try this Creamy Rigatoni Pasta!
My hope during this time is that we can all be kind to all people of all colors and ethnicities and not judgmental. We are all in this together. Let’s make the most of it and come out of this strong.
Creamy Rigatoni Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced or thinly sliced
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream*
- fresh basil leaves couple handfuls
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta cooked to al dente
- salt and pepper
- parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. After a minute or two, add in the onions and cook until translucent and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir together for one minute. Add in the lean ground beef and cook until all the meat is browned and cooked through.
- Add in the anchovy paste and the red chili pepper flakes if using and stir together. Pour in the crushed and diced tomatoes, mix together and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Pour in the heavy cream* and add in the basil. Stir together for a minute to two and then add in the cooked rigatoni pasta. Stir together and make sure the sauce is coating all of the pasta. Taste, season with salt and pepper if needed and serve. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!