Rachael Ray Cooks It Quickly

The dishes will make guests swoon without extended time in the kitchen.

Nov. 6, 2007 — -- It doesn't take years of training or a ton of time to make a delicious meal. In Rachael Ray's new book, "Just In Time," she offers dozens of new recipes you can make in less than 30 minutes.

If that's still too much time, there are also 15-minute meals, and for those who have extra time, 60-minute meals. Check out recipes from cook and talk show host below.

Southern-Style Shepherd's Pie

They're so good, your mother will think she invented it, and with pork and sweet potatoes, it's so Southern, you'll be drooling for more even as you eat the last yummy bite.

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter

1banana, sliced

Zest and juice of 1 orange

½ cup heavy cream

Grated nutmeg to taste, about ¼ teaspoon

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, twice around the pan

2 pounds ground pork or turkey

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium parsnips (about 8 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

3 celery ribs, sliced

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 bunch of Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped

2½ cups chicken stock

1 cup frozen peas

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat for the sweet potatoes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and reserve. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the butter and sliced banana to the pot. Cook the banana in the butter for 5 minutes, then add the orange zest and juice. Return the sweet potatoes to the pot and mash with the cream. Season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

While the potatoes cook, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up into small bits with the back of a spoon, until well browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, parsnips and celery, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add the cider vinegar and brown sugar, and stir. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour, and stir again for another 2 minutes so the flour cooks a little. Add the Swiss chard and stir until it is wilted, then add the chicken stock. Bring up to a bubble, then simmer for a few minutes until the mixture is cooked and has thickened. Remove from the heat.

Add the peas and parsley to the meat and veggie mixture, and stir to combine. Pour into a medium casserole or 8- or 9-inch square baking dish. Top with the mashed sweet potatoes and spread them out evenly. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake until the top of the potatoes is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Paella in Quince

Thanks to my friend John McCally, who suggested I make a paella with couscous rather than rice: HUGE!

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 4 times around the pan

½ pound precooked chorizo, casings removed, cut into bite-size dice

¾ pound chicken breast cutlets or tenderloins, cut into bite-size dice

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and black pepper

2½ cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 envelope saffron powder or a pinch of threads

2 cups couscous

1 cup frozen green peas

1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges

2 piquillo peppers or 1 roasted red pepper, chopped

A generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Hot sauce, to pass at the table

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add the chorizo, and render some of its fat, 1 to 2 minutes, then add the chicken and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, thyme and shrimp; season with salt and pepper; and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Add the stock, turmeric and saffron, bring to a boil, and stir in the couscous, peas, lemon zest and piquillo peppers. Cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems. Top each serving of paella with some chopped parsley, hot sauce and juice from the lemon wedges.

Carbonara Deep-Dish Pasta-Crusted Pan Pizza

Pasta carbonara is fantastic, but it must be eaten right when it is made. By turning it into a cross between a frittata and a pizza it can hang out for a much longer period, making it a more forgiving dish. Served with either a fruit salad or green salad, it is perfect for B, B, L, D -- breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! Salt 2 (9-ounce) packages fresh linguine

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 times around the pan

¼ pound pancetta, cut as thick as bacon, chopped

3 to 4 garlic cloves, grated or chopped

½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls

4 large eggs

½ cup cream

Black pepper

2 cups ricotta cheese

A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it boils, salt it generously, add the pasta, and cook for 3 minutes. While the pasta water heats, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for a minute more, stirring once or twice.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, tossing to coat the pasta with the garlic oil. Add the Parmigiano and toss again. Beat the eggs with the cream and salt and pepper, and pour over the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the eggs for 1 minute or until they begin to set, then pat the pasta into an even layer to make the "pizza pie" crust. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

Mix together the ricotta and parsley. Remove the pasta pie from the oven and smooth the ricotta over the top. Sprinkle with the provolone or mozzarella and return to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and golden at the edges. Let the pie sit a couple minutes to settle the ricotta, then cut into wedges and serve directly from the skillet.