Thursday, January 02, 2014

How To Nearly Burn Your House Down, A Recipe

Have some wilting vegetables at your in your fridge? Each rich.

Where Ray comes from they eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's day. When I was growing up we'd go to my aunt's house for cabbage.

“Eat poor on New Year’s day, eat rich the rest of the year,” the adage goes.

But that wasn't what I was thinking when I started dinner last night. I was thinking I wanted to order in, have a hoagy delivered or maybe make a frozen pizza. I was feeling too lazy to make anything and Ray was in the basement sawing things.

But since it was the first day of 2014 I thought we should kick it off by having dinner at home - start us on the right foot healthwise and moneywise.

There was a sad, wrinkling red pepper in the vegetable crisper, a bunch of broccoli that needed to be eaten, some pine nuts in the pantry and a half a bag of penne. Good enough, I thought.

Maybe we just should have ordered in.

Within minutes I had nearly burned the house down. Or at least nearly killed us by smoke inhalation.

Turns out, you shouldn't leave a red pepper and broccoli to sauté in olive oil on high heat while you do other things, like unload the dishwater.

No matter. We feasted on only slightly charred penne and ate around the scorched little pieces of red pepper flakes.  I tossed in some side salads with cut up string cheese for a bit of protein and we had ourselves a New Year's evening meal.

I called it 'everything but the kitchen sink,' because I tossed in everything we had, which wasn't much.

After we cleaned up I remembered the adage about eating poor on New Year's day. A little accidental luck never hurt anybody, even if you do almost cause a kitchen fire.

Everything but the kitchen sink pasta

[Feel free to make your own and pretend it's New Year's again.]

Sauté in plenty of olive oil everything that is going bad in your crisper - red peppers, yellow peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, whatever. If you have any garlic cloves or minced garlic in the fridge, add that too. Add in red pepper flakes for heat. I like a lot of heat, so I add a lot of them. Don't walk away and unload the dishwasher; keep the veges moving.

In another pot prepare whatever pasta you have in the pantry, letting it get not quite al dente. (It will finish cooking when you sauté it.) Drain the pasta and toss it into the pan with the veges. Add a bit more olive oil and red pepper flakes; throw in those pine nuts you've had in the pantry for months. I like a bit of the penne to be crispy, so I intentionally scorch a bit of the pasta for texture.

Add a side salad of spring mix, string cheese and the rest of those pine nuts you're never going to use.  

Eat rich the rest of the year.

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