Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You're Going to Kick Yourself

...for not thinking of this sooner, if you haven't already.

There is a super simple (and I do mean SIMPLE) dinner that I consider my go-to comfort food. It's warm and decadent and basically amazing. The other day I was making it when my roommate said, "Oh where did you get that idea. I've never seen anything like that." And I said, "I thought it up." And that's when I realized, maybe I should post it since it is soooo easy and maybe I could share and you'll fall in love with it too.

Don't blame me if it's so simple you're insulted. Sometimes the easiest things are the most tasty, so here's the recipe I've never posted but always should have. Fair warning, it is catered to my own flavor loves, which I'll explain now:

I love pasta - well cooked pasta. A nice little bite to it. It has to be freshly made (as in boiled, not actually made from scratch), too, not something that's been sitting around in the fridge. That's why I incorporated this stipulation into the recipe: you make enough pasta for the amount of people you are serving (usually one, in my case) and there are no leftovers.

Secondly, I enjoy big flavor. I LIKE giant pieces of garlic to bit into, and I don't care if the sundried tomatoes stand out on their own. So if you do like a bit quieter flavor profile, this might not be for you.

Third, I think spicing pasta should be extremely simple. You have to use salt - it makes pasta better. But just enough to taste. And in lieu of pepper, I usually use red pepper flakes for added kick.

Finally, olive oil is another must. You have to use it in this dish. It acts like a binder (along with my other fav ingredients, dijon mustard), and it creates a sense of luxury on the tongue.

So here, it is...it could change your quick supper recipes for good:

Sheila's Super Simple Pasta

Get a pot of water to a rolling boil, then add enough pasta for one serving.

In the plate you are using to eat on (why use a cutting board), chop one clove of garlic and 4-5 olives, any kind you like. Keep the olive pieces a little bigger than the garlic ones. You may also add 1-2 sliced sun-dried tomatoes (not the salt-cured ones).

Sprinkle over this some salt and red pepper flakes. Squirt over that about 1 Tbs of Dijon mustard. Grate in 1 Tbs pecorino (I like this much better than Parmesan).

Once the pasta is cooked perfectly (about 10 minutes), drain it and make sure there isn't any lingering water. Dump over the season mixture you made on the plate. Measure out a good tablespoon of olive oil and pour it over. Use a spoon and fork to toss everything together.

Serve immediately!

*note: I used to mix everything in a pot with the pasta and then transfer it all to a plate, but I lost a lot of the seasonings this way. By making everything right in the plate you are planning to eat with, you can monitor the toppings to make sure they don't sink to the bottom, etc. If making for more than one (3+), just make it all in the serving platter and note that you'll have to use probably 3 Tbs olive oil, 4 Tbs Dijon, and enough toppings to make sure every portion has some.
photo credit (garlic)
photo credit (pecorino)

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