Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spinach & Cherry Tomato Pasta – Quick dinner

Yesterday was a squalid day for me. Now, don’t go ahead with a wild imagination, I had a nasty gum pain. Problems with wisdom – how ironic. I just couldn’t bring myself together and cook a meal, so I waited in pain until S got home. It was S’s job to cook and I decided to ask him to make some pasta, with whatever ingredients we had at home. Pasta is the easiest meal to cook when you want something in a jiffy. However, you can decide to make it complicated – completely under your discretion. I had no patience or energy to make a Béchamel Sauce (the white sauce I explained in the soup recipe), nor did I want to use the marinara in the refrigerator - the last time we had pasta it was marinara based.

S has his way around the kitchen which sometimes lands us both in catastrophic verbal battles. So to spare ourselves from each other, I decided to help him chop whatever needed chopping and then get out. But of course, I had to give him a general idea of what needed to be done.

So here’s what we used –
1. Whole wheat angel hair pasta (Barilla)

2. Halved cherry tomatoes

3. Julienned bell peppers – orange, red and yellow

4. Spinach

5. Crushed Black Olives and Crushed Garlic

6. Thinly sliced onion

7. Hot peppers – 1 yellow and 1 red, finely chopped

8. Dried basil and Italian seasoning

9. Salt, Olive Oil, Freshly ground black pepper

10.We had no cheese, so decided to scramble some egg(From egg beaters whisked whites).

Here’s what we did –
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.

2. In a wide pan, heat some olive oil, about a quarter cup or lesser, extra virgin.

3. Fry the garlic and chopped hot peppers. Add the onions and caramelize them with a pinch of sugar.

4. Add the spinach, sprinkle some salt, and cook till it wilts.

5. Add the julienned bell peppers, crushed black olives and sauté. Finally add the halved cherry tomatoes. I do this so they stay in shape.

6. Add the pasta, sprinkle dried basil and Italian seasoning, toss the pasta in the pan so everything mixes well.

7. Add the scrambled egg. This looked like pale yellow crumbled feta cheese. It just added some soft yet nutritious texture to our pasta. We scrambled the egg whites with salt and garlic powder.

8. Top off with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with a couple of parsley or cilantro leaves.

Easy, ain’t it? I usually like the Béchamel Sauce in my pasta and when I’m in the mood for tangy spice, I go for marinara. But when I just hate entering the kitchen and want to get done with the job, this is what I go for. We served ourselves some dessert wine. Of course, S had to finish my share and I relented to Coke. We ate the pasta with warm garlic bread sticks. And here’s the worst – I’m still stuck with a scandalous gum issue and am seriously considering a liquid diet. Poor S!

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