I am a creature of habit; old habits die hard in my household. Sunday night has always been that one night of the week that I find most peculiar; kinda sad, kinda boring. The one thing that Sunday has also always been is pasta night! Growing up, Sunday night meant spaghetti with homemade meat sauce, caesar salad, baguette and red wine (yes, even as a child I was permitted a juice glass of an Italian red!). Now, as a wife and mother, I’ve kept up the Lavallee tradition of a bowl of pasta, red wine and bread, though the Lavallee meat sauce is a rare and coveted occurrence here. I have an old standby these days, olive oil, garlic, tons of chilies, fresh tomatoes, peas and whatever herbs and cheese we have floating about. This pasta takes only minutes to make; while your pasta cooks, you make the sauce, so you are guaranteed dinner in about ten minutes. Quicker than take out! I hope you will take this recipe and make it your own by adding some of your favorite ingredients! Buon appetito a tutti!
The Sunday Night Special
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves; sliced
- 1 heaping tbsp red chili flakes (or 2 if you’re like me)
- 3 tomatoes; roughly chopped
- 8 asparagus (this is what I had on this particular night)
- 1 cup frozen peas (I add them to the cooking pasta before I strain it!)
- 1 handful fresh herbs; basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano, etc
- zest of 1 lemon
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup Taleggio (again, we had a piece in the fridge)
- 3 cups cooked pasta of your choice
While the pasta is cooking, I heat up a pan with the oil and add the garlic and chilies; cook for 30 seconds until you smell the garlic. Next, I add the asparagus & tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 the chopped herbs and the lemon zest. Just before straining the cooked pasta, add your peas to the water to cook. Add the strained pasta and peas to the saucepan and add the cheese and the remainder of the herbs.
This makes enough for two hungry people with enough for lunch the next day!
FYI….We have the new habit of using That Dutchman’s “Old Growler” these days instead of the pricier Parmigiano-Reggiano. I find it works just as well, if not better! Click here for my top ten favorite cheeses.