So here’s the thing. My mother started teaching me how to cook when I was about ten years old. I could cook a roast chicken dinner from woah to go by the time I was about twelve or thirteen years old. I’m best at baking, but if you put a recipe in front of me I can make a pretty good go of it, all things considered.
Here’s the other thing. Cooking is a pain in the ass. I live in Australia, so in summer it is hot and the kitchen is the utter last place you feel like being. Even in winter….look, cooking is just a pain, alright? I have become the master of the salad wrap.
I also think that it is really important to be able to make a few more substantial meals, in minimal time, and preferably creating as few dishes as humanly possible while doing so. Nobody likes washing the dishes. Nobody. I don’t care what they say.
This series is to provide you with a few recipes that are easy to make, with few (and generally inexpensive) ingredients, using the smallest number of pots, pans and utensils possible. Because cooking is a pain, and nobody likes doing dishes. See above.
Basil spaghetti is one of my favourite “fast food” meals to make. It’s easy, it only takes a few minutes (as long as it takes to cook the pasta to your liking), and it tastes pretty bangin’, seriously. PLUS, it is really easy to jazz up, and I’ll let you know some options after the basic recipe, which is vegetarian as I don’t eat meat myself.
*I’ve called spaghetti “sghetti” since I was a kid. It’s been around for over twenty years, it’s not gonna go away now.
- Thickened cream (I think they call it heavy cream in the States?)
- Cheese, either grated or gratable. Parmesan would work well if you have it.
- One jar of basil pesto, and for god’s sake make sure you get one without animal rennet! Check the label!
- One packet fettuccine pasta (I prefer spinach fettuccine, but regular works just fine too
- Chicken bits, or bacon bits, whatever you prefer
- Sliced and cooked carrots, for colour, flavour, and crunch if you like’em not-squishy like me
In order to create basil sghetti deliciousness, do the following:
- Put a pot of water on to boil. Make sure there is at LEAST a full teaspoon of salt in that water; it’ll taste better and help the pasta not to stick together so much.
- Once the water is boiling, add your pasta. Not the whole bag unless you’re cooking for multiple people! Just enough for however many you’re cooking for.
- Stir the past every once in a while; the more often you do this, the less the pasta will stick, but don’t slave over it either.
- Once the pasta is done to your liking, drain most of the water, leaving about a tablespoon worth in the pot with the pasta; the pasta will taste better and the sauce will stick, and it won’t be bone-dry when you eat it.
- Add the basil pesto until your pasta has a reasonable covering. I prefer my basil sghetti hella strong, so I use about half the jar per time I cook this! To taste 🙂
- Add your thickened cream, maybe a half or two thirds of a cup, and stir until the sauce is creamy and a pale green colour.
- Whack it into a bowl, and stick some grated cheese or Parmesan on top.
- Enjoy, with gusto.
- With meat bits: Obviously, cook them. And in a separate pan! Once they’re done, whack’em in the sauce after the cream step.
- With carrots: Slice them thinly, cook’em in a pan with a tiny bit of either butter or olive oil until they’re to your liking. I usually only leave them in the pan for five minutes because I like mine crunchy. When they’re done, whack’em in just after them basil step. Cream is optional for the carrot version, because the pasta is really nice with just the basil pesto and carrots.
If you don’t like basil pesto, I’m pretty sure you could sub sundried tomato pesto here, but it may take some experimenting. I personally think tomatoes are the devil’s fruit, and are suitable for consumption only in tomato-based sauces in Italian cuisine. And even then, you need Parmesan for disguising their presence. BUT, I guess it could be done. If you had to.
- Basil sghetti deliciousness, and if you make enough there’ll be leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow, too.
- At most (with optional extras), 3 pots and/or pans, eating utensils and plate, spatula (for stirring sauce), knife (carrots) and grater.
- The feeling of accomplishment at the realization that you have successfully feed yourself, and also you can pxt your mother to show her you’re not subsisting on 2-minute noodles. Anymore.
See? Even you can cook this!
Stay weird xxx