So I fancy myself as a ‘food rustler’ ie someone who can rustle up something edible form what’s in the fridge/larder. With a little help from what comes out of bottles & cans. Honestly, I could do more, but moi le masterchef can’t cut & peel & chop – it’s too tiresome!
Oftentimes, my go-to dish is my version of spaghetti and spinach, although I see no reason why another form of pasta cannot be substituted. It’s simple, it’s a quick, one dish meal and most importantly, something which the family all eat without fussing.
Here goes –
A helping of spaghetti per person (you’d know how much each person at the table is going to eat, so portion it out accordingly, please).
I’d estimate a teaspoon of finely chopped (or grated) garlic per portion. One medium sized red onion, chopped and one large tomato, also chopped, for a serving for three
A couple of handfuls of fresh spinach leaves, washed and stems trimmed.
Set both aside.
Have container of water ready, put it to a boil and toss in the prepared spinach for say, 3 minutes. Drain out the water and retain the spinach in a colander. Pour iced water over the boiled spinach for it to retain its luscious, appetising green (otherwise I tend to find it turning a mushy, dark shade).
Meanwhile, fry the onion and the garlic in a fair bit of olive oil till they just about start turning translucent. Sprinkle in some red chili flakes, to your spice preference. And when you turn the gas down, add the tomatoes. Instead of regular table salt, celery salt adds flavour; which is what I use. And coarse, cracked black pepper. Finally, a hearty squeeze of lemon.
Get a pot boiling and add the spaghetti to it – seven-eight minutes is what they say on the pack, but I test it with a fork to see when it’s done. I’m not a fan of al dente. Once ready, pour out the water and add a splash of olive oil, while turning the spaghetti over, to coat the strands. (Butter is an unhealthier but way tastier substitute – just compensate in the salt in which case).
Add the onion-garlic-tomato to this, mix well and then add the spinach. The leaves are delicate and I’m not particularly patient, careful or good at styling, so mine tend to tear, but good luck to you, you can do much better.
That’s it, we’re done. Sneak in a taste and then serve it up. You could shave some parmesan, or add pine nuts, if you’d rather, just as a topping.
Pretty good, even if I say so myself! Now, who’s going to do the dishes?