Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Favorite Go-To Lunch: Quick and Easy Pasta (or Rice) for One- plus Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

This dish is my favorite quick and easy lunch.  If you happen to have some leftover pasta or rice, it comes together in seconds, and is easily adaptable depending on what else you may have in the fridge.  I make this for my family for dinner too, and they all love it.  But for some reason I generally enjoy this one solo.  I think because this recipe originated back in my college days when I was just beginning to really cook for myself. My roommate, Andrea and I would make various versions of this on an almost daily basis and somehow never tired of it.  I'm not sure if she still cooks it at home- but I sure do!  Honestly I really do need to make it more often for the family because it works great as a fast, weeknight meal.  It is fresh and light and just plain delicious.  

Quick and Easy Pasta (or Rice) for One

1 cup cooked pasta or rice (yay for leftovers!)
1 tomato, chopped (do not discard the seeds and juice, they help to sauce up the dish)
1 scallion, chopped
freshly grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese
garlic salt and fresh ground black pepper (I like to use the coarsely ground setting for this pasta), to taste
Montreal Steak Seasoning, McCormick's makes a good one or make your own (recipe follows)
a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a microwave safe bowl and toss.  Heat in the microwave for a minute and a half then add in the tomatoes, stir and heat an additional minute.  You can also heat this dish on the stove top over medium heat, but I generally use the microwave because it is nice and fast!  Once heated through, top with another light drizzle of olive oil and a good handful of extra parmesan cheese and enjoy!

This is the very basic recipe, which I love as is.  Give me a big bowl and I am a happy girl!  But depending on what I may have in the fridge, I will sometimes throw in other goodies.  Chicken or shrimp is yummy, roasted or grilled vegetables, shelled edamame, fresh herbs (don't bother chopping, we are just making this up quick, remember.  Just tear them up and throw them in, either before heating or after), Uncooked leafy spinach (just let it wilt in the heated pasta), sautéed mushrooms and onions....

Montreal Steak Seasoning
Makes 2/3 Cup

2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dill seeds

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.


  1. Wow Amie! This is perfect for left over pasta! And I love all the veggies. What a great, fresh recipe. I would be honored if you would share it on my Recipe of the Week #2 PASTA post! There will be a small gift card giveaway ;) You can post a couple of your favorite pasta recipes. I sure hope this one makes it! I know my readers would love it.I really hope you come join in the fun!



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