Insanely Easy Pasta Recipe

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I come to you today humbly with a recipe I really think you should try out. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s *insanely* good. I devised this pasta recipe one night recently after we’d gotten out of a matinee on a hot Sunday and it was about dinner time. Should we go out, which would require little energy, or make something? I did a mental inventory of what we had in the cupboards and decided I could throw together some sort of Cacio e pepe  bastardization (I’ve never made cacio e pepe!). I knew we had cream, bucatini, a lemon, parsley, butter and parmesan cheese. All terrific ingredients for a fast pasta dish.

By the way, I absolutely love pasta, and the many forms it can take. Basically any night we’re drawing a blank on dinner I offer to “make some sort of pasta”. I also really believe that people should stock their pantries well with ingredients complementary to a good pasta dish. Get a few cans of fire roasted tomatoes, have some garlic on hand, some basil, some cheese, lemon… The PASTA-bilities are endless (hahahahahhahaaa).

This recipe is also nice because it requires very little prep, and uses one pan (I can’t overemphasize how much I love one-pan dinners). Do note though, that because of the butter and cheese and cream, this isn’t exactly a super healthy dish. However I’m confident you could take out the cream, and it would still be delicious.

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Easy Cheesy Lemony Pasta | Prep: 5 min Cook: 15 min
• Bucatini
• Juice of one lemon (also optional: zest of that same lemon, for extra lemony-ness)
• 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
• 1 c. heavy cream
• 2 tbsp butter
• Bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
• Optional: panko bread crumbs

Start by bring a skillet of salted water to a boil. Cook the bucatini al dente. Reserve a half cup of pasta water. Drain and rinse.
In the same pan, melt the butter on medium heat. Gradually add the cream, cheese and lemon juice (+zest), stirring constantly (don’t want to burn that cream!), until combined. Add pasta, stirring an coating. Do this for about 5 minutes while the sauce thickens. If you wish to thin the sauce out a little, use the reserve pasta water.
Optional: At this point, in a separate pan, heat up a little olive oil and toast some panko bread crumbs with fresh salt and pepper (we have some in the cupboard from times when we’ve recreated a Blue Apron meal… They come in big containers!), until browned and toasty-smelling.

Divide between two bowls, top with bread crumbs and parsley. Then enjoy the hell out of that thing. THAT’S IT!PASTARECIPE-3

When Life Gives You Basil

BASIL-1 copyBASIL-10We got a CSA this summer which is a new thing for us. We’re not really great with produce. Half the stuff we get at the store is usually rotten or wilted before we really figure out what we would do with it. No longer! We went with a super organized CSA through our local co-op that sends out an email every week letting us know what we’ll get. The first two weeks we got bunches and bunches of basil. Before I had the energy to do anything with the first batch, half of it got wilty. So, batch kitchen projects were in order.

At Rock the Garden the last few years they’ve had a really tasty Prairie Vodka drink with basil lemonade. It’s so tasty and this year I was sad to be missing out on it (because of the no booze thing, yeah?) So while I had all this basil, I figured, how about I make basil lemonade? Turns out making a simple syrup is extremely simple, as the name would imply. BASIL-2It’s 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and a big ol handful of that delicious basil. Bring it to boiling in a sauce pan (or until the sugar is dissolved) and let sit for half an hour, then strain out the herbs and chill for at least 4 hours before using. Perfect for a yard party where you need a signature drink (imagine the possibilities!) or just chillin’ on a summer afternoon. BASIL-5BASIL-6FYI: You can use this same recipe for mint, or rosemary (haven’t tried rosemary but I’m sure I will before summer’s end). BASIL-11

Game day Snacks: Creamy Onion Dip!

CRW_4140Well. Here we are. A recipe feature. A recurring opening to many of my posts lately is “Since getting married…” But it’s the super truth. After you get married, it’s great, you have all this free time and a buddy around the house to do stuff with! I’ve become a sort of Susie Homemaker all of a sudden. Cooking a lot more, cleaning like ALL the time. There are endless projects I want to tackle now that I’m not stressing over a wedding. Being married is also great for projects because you also have a taster and a model and an idea giver. The goal of being more a “Lifestyle Blogger” is not understood by many, but Alan, true champ he is, has been pretty much on board with every silly thing I want to blog  about, or every time I want to stop and take a picture. Thanks Alan!
CRW_4078Anyway. A recipe feature. As I’ve been cooking more lately, and sort of into making my own kind of everything (it’s so much more rewarding to make stuff from scratch than to buy it in a store), and because I have all these new appliances and cookware and serving dishes I just want to share it with everyone. Maybe like me, you have friends who like football. Football season comes, and every Sunday it’s just “whose house is it this week?”
CRW_4082We like entertaining. We like supplying way too many snacks too. I thought I’d start off with an easy Onion Dip I adapted from these two recipes with a little twist: fresh mint (also, I didn’t have cream cheese, but I totally had goat cheese which is way cooler). A little weird, right? I’ll explain where that came from eventually. BUT, I’m obsessed with mint lately. I’m not sure how much the prep time is, as I was too busy staging these photos, and it took me a much longer time to chop onions than I expected, because I’m totally susceptible to their evil.

INGREDIENTS
So, the recipe:
– 3 medium onions, chopped
– 2 Tblspoons olive oil
– 3/4 tsp kosher salt
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 1/2 cup goat cheese
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1/4 tsp white pepper
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/3 juice from a lemon
– Fresh Mint

Directions are simple:
Heat oil in skillet, sautée onions and 1/4 tsp salt over medium-high heat until golden brown. They should look like this:
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I used the opportunity of these puppies frying up to get the cleaning up done. Just give them a quick toss every so often.
CRW_4100Next, after the onions have cooled a bit, throw them in a food processor, or blender, pulse them into a nice paste, then add the rest of your ingredients. Stick it in the fridge for a few hours to “set.”
CRW_4137And it’s really that simple! Serve with your preferred brand of potato chips (or if you run in a “healthy gameday snack crowd”, serve with veggies. Or both, who cares.

Bonus tip: You can use this exact recipe to make another equally delicious dip if you leave out the onions! Whaaa?

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