When the Cupboard is Bare
Yesterday, my sister accused me of being a slacker. It’s true that I have been cooking less than usual over the two weeks or so. It’s also true that I really haven’t had much time to write about what I have cooked. So, Jane, this post is for you.
Last week, we were getting ready for a weekend in New Jersey to celebrate Howard’s parents’ 205th (their 75th birthdays and 55th wedding anniversary). The evenings last week involved some unexpected shopping and hemming (of pants). This week, we’ve been getting ready for a visit from my dad and stepmother this weekend. The evenings this week have involved lots of overdue housecleaning.
With all this activity, the cupboard has been pretty much bare. After a weekend of eating way too much, we really needed a home-cooked meal. I managed to pull this spicy pasta together from the pantry, loosely inspired by a recipe for Pasta Arrabbiata from a Rachael Ray cookbook (Just in Time). I didn’t have the exact ingredients, but the end result wasn’t bad.
As a bonus, I went out to the garden to pluck some basil and noticed that the spring lettuce bed, which never got replanted over the summer, was filled with gorgeous arugula. Apparently, the arugula that bolted in early summer self sowed. We’ll have some great salads before frost.
Mother Hubbard’s Pasta Arrabbiata
Serves 4 – 6
1 lb Mostaccioli or other tubular pasta
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup red onion, diced small
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 28-oz can Muir Glen crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 cups arugula, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining the pasta.
In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and onions. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions start to soften. Stir in the vinegar. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Drain the pasta. Top with reserved pasta water, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Toss well. Add chopped arugula and toss until it wilts.