Friday, February 24, 2012
The Go To Meal . . .
Do you have one?
You know the one . . .
You get home late from the day job.
It's been a *$(*&%)# day.
You are hungry.
You want dinner.
You are impatient.
You need something warm and satisfying.
You want something quick.
You DO NOT want anything that requires speaking into a speaker from your car window.
So what do you cook?
At my house - it is almost always pasta.
Or pizza - but we will save that for another day.
I love working with pasta - it's versatile, it's begs you to be creative.
It's almost the perfect food.
Now a disclaimer - as I said - I love pasta. But I rarely order a pasta when I go out to eat.
I think because I find it so easy to cook, it's hard for me to pay elevated prices for a pasta meal.
But I digress. . . .
So last night was as described above.
I finished the day job and then had an appointment at a local youth center to discuss a new project.
It was almost 7:30 and we were hungry and tired and needed some comfort on a plate.
While the pasta water was heating up, we scanned the refrigerator and found some mizithra cheese.
Tossed it in the food processor with the large blade and hit the on button.
I am left with a bowl of white snow.
I heat up the large skillet with some olive oil.
In goes a couple handfuls of chopped mushrooms.
Those cook until they take on a lovely golden color.
Next - garlic.
I mean - come on - it's pasta. You have to have garlic.
5-6 large cloves of minced garlic.
Then the butter.
Don't judge . . .I needed comfort -
and by the time this is dispersed on the whole batch of pasta
and split between 4 of us at the table plus the leftovers for 2 lunches -
it's really not that like I was eating a whole cube of butter.
(Am I rationalizing? Maybe)
But the bubbling golden mixture is quite divine.
Now it's time for a little Spring.
Asparagus is arriving and it is one of my favorite vegetables.
Chopped into crisp little one inch pieces.
But they must wait - because there are few offenses more bothersome than overcooking the asparagus.
Now I must admit - I would normally add peas as well -
but my daughter does not like peas -
and I was feeling kind so I left them out this time.
But if you like peas - add them.
Pasta is cooked. Perfectly al dente.
It is removed with a strainer from the cooking water and placed directly into the skillet with the golden,
bubbling butter mixture.
Do not even think of rinsing all of that starchy water off.
Toss it all together.
Now . . .and not a moment before, add the asparagus.
Toss, toss, toss - make sure every morsel is soaking up that sauce.
And then - let it snow.
Sprinkle that wonderful mizithra all over the pasta.
Plate it up.
Serve it with a little warm bread . . .or not.
Serve it with a salad . . .or not.
And to make the meal especially wonderful
sit down and enjoy it with someone you love.
And don't forget the a healthy dose of laughter.
Now - what is your go to meal?
Share . . .