Thursday, September 2, 2010

On the Cheap and Easy

So, I know I haven't posted in a few days but I really don't have any readers yet, so who's gonna notice?  But I will persevere, and I will continue to blog away, venting random foodie factoids until my little heart's content.  But I have to say, is anybody out there?  Well, on to this post.......

As a busy mother of a three year old sometimes I just want to sit my fat a$$ on the couch with a good glass of wine and really not cook an elaborate dinner, call me crazy, but sometimes everybody needs a little "Bachelor Pad" therapy (I know, I know, tacky, so very tacky).  So on those nights when I am feeling a little lazy I reach for my old standby.  This recipe got me through college, without it I would literally not be here!  Well, maybe I'd be here but considerably thinner.  I love this recipe because it's ridiculously easy, ridiculously good, ridiculously cheap and can be transformed into something even greater and more posh if your foodie heart desires it.  So anyway, on with the show!

Spaghetti with Garlic and Parmesan

1/2 lb spaghetti
4-5 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
3-4 tablespoons good salted butter (you can add more if you are a butter nut job like myself)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (again, if you want more, go for it!)
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil, add a small handful of kosher salt to the water (this is VERY important, it flavors the pasta.....I don't know how many times I have seen people ruin good pasta by not salting the water..... SALT THE F&*&%&& WATER PEOPLE...... I think I was slightly mean there, oh well)  Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente (8-10 minutes, but this will vary depending so many things I will not go into, so just check the pasta every few minutes).  While the pasta is cooking add the olive oil and butter to the pan and heat on medium heat until the butter has melted.  Now the addition of olive oil is important because it helps prevent the butter from browning or burning.  Add the garlic and cook until the garlic has softened, about 3 minutes.  Drain the pasta, reserving about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Add the pasta to pan, remove from the heat and toss to coat the noodles.  Add the cheese and toss the pasta again, adding the pasta water to loosen the spaghetti.  Salt and pepper to taste and voila, dinner is served!!

I really like to add things to this recipe.  I have added roasted chicken and sauteed spinach.  I have also added sauteed cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.  You can add Mascarpone to make a creamy sauce, really the possibilities are endless.  This recipe to me epitomizes the essence of Italian cooking, which is essentially taking really three or four simples ingredients and creating a masterpiece.  They are literally the best at doing this, and I can safely say that it is a true art form.  The key to this art form is knowing how much of each ingredient to use but most importantly to use good quality ingredients, hence this is where the foodie comes into play.  So anyway, hopefully this recipe finds its way to you, and hopefully on those nights when you need a little "Bachelor Pad" therapy, you'll be able to enjoy it and still be able to have great food along with it.


  1. OK - I'm gonna make this for dinner tonight. Thanks for the suggestion :)