Saturday night I was out with the girls. Upon returning home a little before midnight, I discovered the hubs had waylaid dinner with a mix of pre-dinner snacks the girls and I had eaten, a few cocktails, and work.
What to do? Knowing him, he would have sufficed with an oversized bowl of cereal or a handful of almonds. However, I was feeling a little energetic, and knew we had a couple of things kicking around in the fridge that might make a simple pasta dish.
Since I haven’t been working in SF due to visa restrictions, and an extreme case of “what do I want to do with my life?”, I have been doing a lot of two things, well three if I’m honest with myself. Yoga and cooking (and reading blogs).
Hence the willingness to cook midnight pasta. Knowing myself, once I throw in a career and possibly a few little people, there will be markedly less home cooked meals.
That being said, this pasta would also be great for a weeknight meal. It is simple and satisfying. This makes a lot of pasta for 1 person or a small amount for 2, which would be great with grilled meat, a salad, etc.
My recipes are always very rough, because I don’t really use recipes when I cook, so feel free to ask any other questions you might have in the comments.
- 2 small zucchinis cut in rough chunks of about equal size
- a little leftover marinara, roughly 1/2 a cup (which you could forego in a pinch)
- a handful of pasta (I like this gluten free brand because you can still cook it al dente)
- a clove of garlic, minced or thinly sliced
- a touch of dried oregano, or fresh parsley, or any green herb of your choice
- a blob of any cheese, I used a soft cow’s milk, feta would work, goat cheese would be delicious, buratta out of this world, but whatever you have on hand would be fine
- and of course salt, pepper, olive oil and optional chili flakes
Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it (pasta water should be salty as the sea), and add a touch of oil. Sautee the zucchini and garlic on medium-high in a large pan with olive oil. Season with your dried herbs (if using fresh, reserve them for adding at the end), salt and pepper, and chili flakes if you like a little heat.
After the zucchini starts to brown, add your marinara. Just after you start to cook the zucchini add your pasta to the water, and cook al dente. When you drain your pasta, be sure to reserve a cup of pasta water.
Once the sauce is ready (the zucchini are tender) add the pasta and toss, adding additional pasta water if the pasta becomes too sticky. Finish with your fresh herbs, heap it on your favorite plate or bowl, and top with the cheese of your choice.
Once you get the hang of it, the pasta and the sauce will be ready at the same time. However, in the mean time it is fine for the pasta to sit drained, or for the sauce to be turned off. You just don’t want limp pasta or mushy zucchini.
What’s your midnight go to?