Monday, February 21, 2011

Cheaters' Spaghetti

This was so good that I just made it again for hubby.

Let me explain?  I am from time to time home alone, wandering around doing all those things one does at home and sometimes lunchtime and hunger comes suddenly when I'm not really expecting it.  And I need to eat!  And I need to please myself, with something of substance, depth, and flavor.  i.e., a bowl of cereal would just NOT DO!  My solutions to this craving for yummy-umami vary.  See one prior shameless example here.

Most of my emergency eating involves creative "pantry" cooking it's true.  (That sounds so much better than: "leftovers".  Or: "eating out of cans".  Doesnt' it?)

So one of those emergency days, a pretty bad one, because I was low on everything, not a speck even of garlic or onions or cilantro to give that pantry-something the desired midday je ne sais quoi........

Here's what I made:  Cheaters' Spaghetti.

Recipe:  Take one small enamel pot.  Fill with water and boil.  At boiling point add enough spaghetti for one person. (They usually say take a bundle about the diameter of a quarter.)  Break it in half as you desire.

Let boil till the pasta approaches "al dente".  While it's cooking get out a scant handful of dried mushrooms, rinse and then soak them.  (You could also pop them in the microwave with their soaking h2o very briefly to get them softened.)  Set the mushrooms aside.

Pour most of the pasta water off, leaving barely enough to cover.  Generously drizzle over a stream of extra virgin olive oil, add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and grind over some salt and pepper.  Stir in.  Let cook a 1/2 minute to a minute or so over low heat.

Add leftover canned crushed tomatoes approximating about 1/3 c. (or twice as much volume fresh plum tomatoes if you have some) mixed down with an equal measure of dry vermouth.  Add a generous pinch of dry basil.  Continue cooking.

Stir in the mushrooms and let cook till soft.  Dig out the truffle oil from the back of your cupboard.  Shave in some nice aged  parmesan cheese to your taste.  Drizzle in a soupcon of truffle oil.  Salt.  Pepper.  Stir.

Take it to a comfortable seating area and write a blog post!

Three words:  SIMPLE.  QUICK.  YUMMY!!!!  And GREEN!  (It's a one pot dish.)

Buon Appetito!


  1. I do home-alone food too from time to time ... this looks very good and easy :)

  2. Tu as raison iss Paradis, un bon plat de spaghettis al dente, de la sauce tomates( en boite) et beaucoup de parmesan rapé frais, il n'y a rien de plus réconfortant ( ne pas oublier un petit verre de vin pour accompagner!!)
    passe une belle après midi, mais au fait? quelle heure est il chez toi?
    Je t'embrasse, béatrice

  3. miammmm
    can i have a slice?

  4. That sounds good even at eight in the morning! Good girl - you actually feed yourself well when your man is away. I always end up eating cereal - which I love - but not great 3x in a row. I can still hear my mother telling me my hair is going to fall out if I keep eating #*%$*&@ ! Yep, that's the way she talks, but she's also right :^)

  5. Sometimes you just NEED food like this. :-) My go to pasta is simple too - angel hair pasta, jar of pesto, chopped tomatoes. Good to go. :-)