Oh, hey there, November! When did you get here? How did you sneak up on me like that? How did my little brother just turn twenty-freaking two? How is Thanksgiving next week? I had such grand plans. They involved butter, sugar, and lots of practice. They used egg whites and whipped them to peaky perfection. And purple sweet potatoes and coconut milk. And getting me to like brussel sprouts. So many things I had planned! And yet, here I am. Trying frantically to clean out my refrigerator to make room for a turkey that can feed eight. and three pies. And how many sides? I lost count.
So if you are finding yourself in the same boat, with November flying by without you being entirely prepared for it, lacking motivation to do grocery shopping before the epic bender you’re going on this weekend, and your refrigerator stockpile slowly dwindling in the face of what you know is going to be a pie-turkey-potato-green bean EXPLOSION next week, this one’s for you.
It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s basically the healthiest thing, um, ever, at least according to my standards. And I eat it for dinner a minimum of five nights a month when Brett is gone for work, and I’m cooking for only one. It’s hard to be motivated to cook for one..so if it’s not cereal, it’s this pasta. Truth. I haven’t gotten sick of it yet, which should say something, considering I get bored of things after, like, three and a half seconds.
Garlicky Pasta [for one, because that's how I usually make it, but it's so dang easy to make it for a jillion if that's how many you need to feed]
- 1 large tomato or a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 bell pepper [or whatever veggies you have on hand; I make this with kale whenever we have it growing in the yard.. or with other squashes, with spinach, honestly whatever looks sad at the bottom of the veggie drawer..]
- 2-3 cloves garlic [yeah. It's intense. modify if you don't love it as much as me..]
- 1/4 lb of your favorite short pasta– I like tri color rotini, but any type of rotini, penne, macaroni, etc will work.
- cheese [totally optional; and you can go light with just a sprinklin of parmesan or heavy with big ol' chunks of fresh mozzarella I like both ways..can't pick a favorite!]
- salt and pepper, and a big ol glug of olive oil
- Heat a pot of water large enough for cooking pasta and tossing it about over high heat. Salt the water really well once it starts to boil. Toss in your pasta and cook it for about a minute less than the recommended time so it’s slightly undercooked. Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside.
- In the same pot [because let's be honest, if you're making this for just yourself you don't need to wash two stinkin pots..] pour in a big glug of olive oil. Add the zucchini and bell pepper [or any other veggies that take some time to cook] and saute over medium heat until veggies just begin to soften around the edges; about 5 min.
- Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute, then throw in your tomatoes, give it a stir or two, throw in the pasta with just a little bit of the reserved pasta water.
- Toss it all up, season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with whatever cheese you’re loving at the moment, dump it all in a huge bowl and eat the heck out of it.
It seriously couldn’t be any easier. One pot. One knife. You could even eat it out of the pot. Save washing a bowl. Promise I don’t judge. Happy November!