Monday, January 10, 2011

Before my time/What I ate for dinner

When I was in ninth grade I used to write a message on the back of my left hand every day. It wasn't a note to self, it was a note to the world. I basically invented the status update, no?

I haven't posted a little recipe since July! Time, she flies, like an especially adamant and annoying bird. Here's what I ate for dinner, basically a variation on one I already posted, which is why it's not really a recipe.

Green and White Pasta with Garlic and Lemon

Put a big pot of water on to boil. Melt a chunk of butter (2-3 tablespoons) in a saucepan and throw in three or so sliced garlic cloves. Cook the garlic on low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it's fragrant/not raw. Dump in a handful of chopped fresh parsley, the zest and juice of one lemon, a small container of plain Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%, please; fat-free yogurt is a scourge; it's Scourge McYuck), and half a tub or so of whipped cream cheese (look, this is just what I had around!; you could class it up with goat cheese or a big handful of grated parmesan), plus a big pinch of kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper (plus a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy, ay yi yi). Turn off the heat and just move it around a little; it doesn't have to cook, but you want the cheese to start to melt. Meanwhile, salt the water when it's boiling and add about 12 ounces of chunky pasta (such as penne or cavatappi; I used this); when it's got two to three minutes left, add two cups or so of broccoli cut into "bite-size florets." When both the pasta and broccoli are done, drain (reserving about half a cup of pasta water) and return to the pot. Throw in a couple of good handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves, then add the sauce mixture. Stir to combine, adding pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. You might want to keep the heat on low to wilt the spinach and help it all get good and dishy. Yum, right? Serves fourish. Please note: Everything is negotiable, but substituting works better than simply subtracting (e.g., use peas and basil instead of broccoli, parsley and spinach, or ricotta instead of yogurt) and you can always add (e.g., sundried tomatoes, white wine).


  1. Yummo! I happen to be hungry right now, so double yum! Easy and flexible - my kind of cooking. Thanks!

  2. Very easy, very flexible -- I almost always have stuff around to make some variation of this.

  3. I love Greek yogurt. You could also use Boursin cheese in this recipe. Sounds yum. Thank you!

    That's interesting about you writing on yr hand. I used to sing my day to put myself to sleep. Very annoying to everyone.

  4. might you want to have one of your recipes featured on my food blog? we're going to start a series featuring writers' favorite/go-to/specialty recipes. not sure how it will go yet, but let me know if you're interested!


  5. Boursin! Brilliant idea. I always forget about Boursin.

    Carrie, sure, I'd love to! You can find my email address on my profile page.