Parents love back-to-school season because it gets the whole family back on a schedule. Parents hate back-to-school season because that schedule usually leaves too little time to get dinner on the table.
And it usually takes a solid month of shakedown to work out the bugs in that schedule, sorting out which days leave time for a home-cooked meal, and which simply demand takeout. The meals we do make during that month need to be particularly fast and easy. September simply isn't the time to reach for new culinary heights.
That was the inspiration for this pasta dinner, a rethinking of the classic steak and cheese grinder, but as a comforting bowl of carbs. If rice is more your style, the cheesy steak and onions would be just as good served over that. Or if you are watching the carbs, you also could spoon the mixture over bowls of steamed or roasted vegetables.
• J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter @JM--Hirsch or read his blog at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org