Monday, January 7, 2008

Comfort Food Monday - Noodle Night

In our house, pasta counts as Fast Food. On busy days, or days when we're more tired than we thought we'd be and we want a quick and tasty meal, we boil a pot of water and declare it Noodle Night. It's quicker, tastier and cheaper than any pizza or burger and fries meal could possibly be. And, depending what we add to the dish, it's anything from not bad for you to downright nutritious.

The simplest noodle night consists of a big bowl of pasta, tossed with some good-quality olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese (the real thing, of course) and some fresh-cracked pepper. Obviously somewhat lacking in vegetable matter, but just the thing after one of those days.

Moving up the complexity scale, we will add some chili pepper flakes and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Yummy.

On days when we actually have a bit of strength left, we will add whatever vegetation we can find in the fridge. Broccoli is easy. Cut it into florets and toss it in with the pasta in the last minute of cooking. Serve with the olive oil/chili pepper flake/lemon juice combination.

Last night we had my sister and her family over for dinner. We'd all had quite the holiday season and were in need of something simple. Alan put the water on to boil, diced up some pancetta and halved a bunch of cherry tomatoes. The pancetta cooked while the pasta was cooking(in a separate pan). He added the tomatoes at the last minute, tossed in the cooked, drained pasta and added pepper to taste. A bowl of freshly-grated parmesan cheese and some good fresh bread. Yummy, easy and cheap. Comfort food at its best!

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