The Big Easy


After walking around in the freezing cold celebrating BARACK OBAMA’s inauguration, I really didn’t feel like cooking much, but still wanted something warm and easy. And I certainly didn’t feel like fighting with squash for an hour, especially after such a lovefest filled day. I mentally scanned the pantry and remembered all of those boxes of pasta that we’ve stockpiled for nights just like this.

I also decided that I didn’t feel like taking out a cutting board, I didn’t feel like using a knife and I didn’t want to get another pot dirty. So here’s my no-cook, no-knife pasta dinner. Don’t worry, I didn’t say no fat.  

Throw the pasta of choice (we used whole wheat spaghetti) into boiling salted water, when there’s just about 2 minutes left, add in torn spinach leaves.  See, torn, not sliced, not diced. No knife. Torn with my hands.

While the water is coming to a boil, on the very plate you’ll be using to eat the pasta, grate parm cheese, grate one clove of garlic and add a pat or two of butter.  When the pasta is finished, add that to the same plate.  Mix together.  Sprinkle on salt, black pepper, more parm cheese and red pepper flakes.  And more butter.

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  • BS January 22, 2009  

    wait? so you put the torn spinach leaves right in to the boiling water with the pasta? I’ve never done this – but sounds like a great trick. The spinach doesn’t get too soggy?

  • gansie January 22, 2009  

    it’s only in there for a minute and then you drain it right with the noodles, so it’s really nicely cooked.
    i love not having to use a knife!

  • Yvo January 22, 2009  

    Mmmm… where’s the egg?

  • belmontmedina January 22, 2009  

    Gans, you’ll be happy to know that my new year’s resolution to learn to like eggs is coming along nicely. I still prefer yolk to white though…

  • gansie January 22, 2009  

    you know, i actually thought about adding an egg to this dish, kinda like a bacon-less carbonara.
    i should have done it, if only for the fans!

  • LD January 22, 2009  

    I like doing this with broccoli instead of spinach. It just gets blanched and warm. Never thought of putting cheese and garlic on the plate, but it’s obvious and brilliant now that I’ve read it.

    We went out for dinner Tuesday and nearly fell asleep in our soup!

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