When it comes to cooking, I’m looking for easy and delicious. At this point in my cooking game, I’d like to think I’m a decent cook – I can make a variety of dishes and most of the time, they taste fantastic – but I do rely on some helpful tools, like my Crock-Pot or jarred sauce (sorry to my Italian mom).
While most of the recipes I find are on the internet, a few weeks back I was invited to give Chef Stuart O’Keeffe’s cookbook, The Quick Six Fix, a try. Now The Quick Six Fix is a theory I can get beyond – each recipe involves 6 minutes to prep and 6 minutes for cleanup. And the best part? Beyond a list of every day staples, there are only 6 ingredients in each recipe. This couldn’t excite me more, as there is nothing that turns me off from a recipe that a list of 15 ingredients!
If you are completely new to the kitchen, O’Keeffe’s cookbook has an easy shopping list right at the start of the book that every pantry should have – from baking powder and baking soda, to red paper flakes and paprika. I remember when I first started cooking, I hated how every time I cooked, each recipe would cost at least $35. Over time, that total would drop, as I acquired more and more staples. So remember that you’ll use this shopping list the first time you cook and you will spend quite a bit of money, but it’s an investment for upcoming recipes (and here’s a tip: your local dollar store usually has all the spices for super cheap).
It was actually fun to be a bit old-school, and flip through the cookbook rather than Pinterest as I was trying to figure out what to make. Now, O’Keeffe is Irish, but there were a ton of different cuisines within this book! I was torn between butternut squash and coconut soup, pork curry in a hurry and tagliatelle with mushy peas, pork sausage and ricotta. Ultimately, tagliatelle won!
Whenever you are cooking, remember that a recipe is a guide and you can substitute for some items you have around the house. Instead of buying tagliatelle, I used spaghetti that we had, and decided to omit the basil that was suggested, mostly because I forgot it (since then, I’ve bought my own basil plant!). The recipe also called for breakfast sausage, but I decided to go with pork sausage again. Still, I was pleased to see that O’Keeffe was true to his word – only 4 ingredients were included in this recipe that were not on the original shopping list.
What attracted me to the recipe was that it used ricotta to make a “cream” sauce. I say cream because it wasn’t overly cheesy, but was just enough to be a nice change of pace from my jarred sauce. The peas, combined with the ricotta and sausage, was something I would never seem to think of on my own and my husband definitely thought this recipe should be in our rotation. Thanks, Chef O’Keeffe!
If you are looking for a new cookbook to add to your shelf or are new to cooking and need some help getting started, check out The Quick Six Fix.
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Quick Six Fix to review. My colleagues can all attest that the recipe I made smelled amazing, as I may have had leftovers three days that week. Please note that all links to O’Keeffe’s cookbook use my Amazon affiliate link – this helps keep the blog going!