Wife and I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on different projects the last month or so, and subsequently have been eating out more and more (which is unusual for us). Well it finally happened Friday that we were both so busy on our respective projects and playing catch-up from those projects, that we didn't get any food to-go either. So I went into the kitchen to assess the situation:
half a bag of frozen hash browns
half a bag of dried out baby carrots
quarter bag of shredded cheese
a can of whole, pitted black olives
a can of spaghetti sauce
a jar of marinara
a bag of cavatappi pasta
1/8 of a bag of frozen, diced chunk chicken
cracked black pepper
and a stick of butter
Wasn't sure if my idea was going to work out, but I manifested the thickest, richest meal to date, and it was freaking magnificent!
I started by melting half a stick of butter in the frying pan and adding the solid rock of hash browns, covering to soften. Once I was able to flatten the mushy pile of potatoes I turned up the heat, removed the lid, and added a healthy tablespoon of garlic along with the salt and pepper. Once it was crispy on one side I flipped it and added the frozen chicken chunks, shredding them as they softened. Once the hash browns were crispy, I laid that out on a plate and stuck it in the microwave.
I thinly sliced both the baby carrots and the black olives which ended up making about three cups of veggies. I put them into the fry pan on medium-low with the marinara and onion flakes and covered the dish to allow the carrots to soften and the onions to plump, then uncovered and turned to low heat to wick all the extraneous moisture from the sauce, adding a little more pepper. I did more than allow it to thicken, I actually allowed it to scorch a little on the bottom before turning up the heat and adding the canned spaghetti sauce to reconstitute it, leaving it to simmer without a lid while boiling the noodles.
Once the pasta was drained I placed it back in the pot used to boil the noodles, added the thick sauce, both the cheeses, and generously blended it all together. Then I topped it with the crispy has browns and chicken mixture, lightly stirring it in.
It was beyond delicious, and quite filling to boot! The carrots retained a slight crunch and added a touch of sweetness to the sauce, the potatoes adding both crunch and a bold texture while mixing its char with the layer of slightly burned sauce, and of course the flavor and texture of the chicken bits and cheeses. c'est manifique!