Main Course Inspiration

“When you cannot figure out what to make for dinner, begin by sautéing some onion and/or garlic…while you stare into the cupboards and fridge — inspiration will come!” – Tali

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes



  • 8-12 ounces pasta, whatever type you have handy
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 thinly sliced cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup of slivered or diced (1 small or 1/2 large) onion
  • 1 fresh Ancho or Pablano pepper, deseeded
  • 1/2-3/4 pound protein (raw shrimp peeled deveined and tails removed, or chicken cubes or pork cubes or beef cubes or tofu cubes or whatever you want)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, optional
  • Lime or lemon juice, fresh squeezed (alternately, soy sauce works, too)


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta when you start this recipe. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. While the water is coming to a boil and while the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe as follows.

Stab the ancho pepper with a fork and roast him over the open flame until he is blistered and charred. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut into bite sized pieces. It will wilt and kinda mush when cooking, so don’t fret about the pepper being pretty or uniform in size.

Heat oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned.Add the pepper and sauté for a couple minutes until it is wilty.

Add the raw meat to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high, cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is just turning pink or the meat is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat.

Add the drained, cooked pasta to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and toss to combine. To serve, portion out into bowls, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Yield: Serves 2-3 as a main or 4 to 8 as a side. Makes a great leftover and is particularly tasty as cold leftovers the following day.


Thanks for following our blog! Subscribe to be kept up-to-date on the Prairie Schooner and our frugal van-dwelling adventure.

We would love to hear from you – drop us a comment below.



%d bloggers like this: