I’ve been eating well this week.
And it’s all thanks to a conscious decision to—well, eat well. When I stock my kitchen with tons of fresh fruit and veggies, I find myself cooking tons more of them (duh) so that they don’t go to waste.
Last night’s dish was this thing:
And I’m calling it spaghetti primavera, for lack of any better idea (I don’t actually like the word spaghetti, for the record. You know how you just like some words and you don’t like others? Spaghetti is a non-favorite.)
Anyway, spaghetti (ugh! How many more times am I going to type this?) primavera makes this sound much fancier than it really is. I don’t even want to give you a recipe because I don’t want to insult your intelligence. It’s not really a recipe. This was me, jumbling together a bunch of vegetables in a tiny bit of olive oil until soft, then adding just-tender noodles and a liberal sprinkling of powdery, granular parmesan. Ta-da. A fairly balanced plate full of flavor with very little bad stuff (unless you want to count pasta. Let’s not.).
I really just wanted to share the photos. I’ve never tried photographing “real food” with the fancy camera, and it was actually a slight challenge compared to photographing baked goods. I still feel like my composition is lacking, but I like that you can see the texture of the noodles and each wrinkly pea in some of these (thank you, camera). Do any of these stand out as I WANT TO EAT THAT! (RIGHT NOW!)? I <3 photography tips!
Do you have any meals that are so easy you feel silly sharing them but are so delicious that you must?
(And if you want a walk through—NOT a recipe—of what I did, see more below :))
How I make pasta
What I used
4 oz. spaghetti (about a third of a box)
1 tablespoon oil, divided
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
half a calabaza squash (like zucchini), sliced
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 handfuls spinach, wilted
½ cup frozen peas
grated parmesan cheese
salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, dried basil to taste
What I generally do with vegetables and pasta (this “walk through” assumes you don’t really know what you’re doing in the kitchen. Maybe you sleepwalked?):
I set a medium pan of water over high heat with a liberal sprinkling of salt to add flavor, keep the noodles from sticking, and sort of to make the water boil faster (although I don’t think I add enough to make it actually boil faster). While I wait for the water to boil, I’ll chop the tomato and zucchini or whatever vegetables I have. When the water boils, I’ll add the pasta, leaving the lid off, and let it cook at a medium boil (meaning you can see bubbles rising and popping) for ten minutes (depending on the pasta) while I wilt the spinach.
To wilt spinach, I find that I don’t need extra fat. I like to warm a frying pan on high, add the spinach, then turn the heat down to medium for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. You don’t even need a lid to keep the heat in, as I used to do. I like my spinach wilted quite a bit, until it turns a darker green and looks glossy with moisture. Just before it hits that stage, I add a pinch or two of salt, stir it in well, and immediately remove from heat.
Before or after wilting the spinach, depending on my mood, I’ll add a teaspoon or two of oil to the same frying pan over medium heat. After a minute or so, I’ll add the squash—it should sizzle when it hits the pan. I’ll fry it for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender. Add a little salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Once the noodles are done, I pour them into a strainer in the sink and run a little cold water over them. Then I’ll heat up the pan I used to wilt the spinach, add a little oil (1/2 a tablespoon-ish), add the noodles and stir until they’re hot. This was the first time I added tomato sauce out of a can to spaghetti, but it was leftover from this dish. Stir until the noodles are coated. Add spinach, squash, tomato and frozen peas. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil to taste. Finish with parmesan cheese. EAT HOT!