Today went kind of like this:

Really exciting and fun plans with sister totally squashed by threat of severe weather, which has not yet proved to be true. Crabby attitude ensues. Bah, humbug, etc. etc.

Dinner, rather than something fun along our antiquing route somewhere between Lindstrom, Taylors Falls, Stillwater, Hudson, and home, was pasta.

I bought way too much fresh produce at Costco yesterday, completely failing to remember that I’m on the road for work all week during the day (i.e. restaurant meals), and have obligations pretty much every night (i.e. I will not be cooking this week… at all).

So, with that in mind, tonight’s dinner went a little something like this:

Stormy weather (and attitude) pasta

1. Start a pot of water boiling for pasta. [When the water finally boils, cook pasta of your choice, reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water, drain, and set aside… I used linguine)

2. Over medium-high heat, saute half an onion, finely chopped, in a few tablespoons of olive oil, until nearly translucent

3. Add about 1 Tbsp of crushed red peppers, a few minced cloves of garlic and about 6 large mushrooms, very thinly sliced

4. After a few minutes, add 6 or 7 baby sweet peppers, thinly sliced into rings, a big squirt of anchovy paste, and a big squirt of tomato paste (yes, I totally buy these two items by the toothpaste-style tube – way less waste!!!).

5. A few minutes later, add 3 roma tomatoes, diced.

6. A couple minutes later, add about 1/2 cup sweet marsala wine, about 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts, and about 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives.

7. When the sauce has started to simmer again, add about 1 cup of chopped parsley, and about five giant handfuls of baby spinach, chopped. After the greens have wilted, lower the heat. Add freshly ground pepper and salt, if needed, to taste.

8. Add the cooked pasta (drained – see step 1 above). Add reserved pasta water as needed to thoroughly coat the pasta.

9. Serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan. Look outside and sigh. Not that you’re excited about severe weather or anything… but canceling plans in favor of safety, when safety turns out not to have been necessary… frustrating.


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