Tuesday, April 1, 2014

thrown together

Feast your eyes on a thing of beauty:

Has the brightness in this photo been edited to high heavens? Yes.

Did I make that food? Also yes.

Last night, dinner was a tortellini-ed version of a Kitchen Sink Salad. Total mindless "recipe" alert! Boil yourself up a batch of delicately hand-rolled tortellini (or buy the rainbow-colored five-cheese blend like I did). Meanwhile, summon your infantry: peas, cashews, olive oil, sea salt (faaancy), spices, and shredded parmesan.

The noodles' packaging told me they needed a six minute cook time, so I set my alarm and watched a segment of Chopped Canada.

Now here comes the heavy lifting. Literally -- I hate draining pasta because the pot weighs a ton. (On the bright side, you get an impromptu facial from all the steam.) The tortellini go back in the pot, to then be doused in olive oil. Add the other accoutrements to your liking.

Did I mention this dish is ridiculously, embarrassingly easy? Because, at this point, you're already done. Hello, dinner... and... next-day lunch (because you're a modern woman who follows a budget) (and maybe that budget was blown to smithereens because of a post-work trip to Target that day) (no judgment).

I love preparing these types of meals because there's zero pressure to shop in advance or follow an elaborate recipe. There's only really one thing to do: Fill up a bowl with your favorite edibles. (That wasn't a pot reference.) At the same time, it's important -- almost crucial -- to have restraint. Sometimes the problem is combining flavors that don't mesh, and other times there's just too much going on (too many ingredients, too heavy, too salty, etc). I like to have everything in front of me -- even if only mentally -- then pare down the number of ingredients to work with. It's kind of like that rule your mom tells you about wearing too much jewelry: Before leaving the house, look in the mirror, then remove one item. Sure, this mantra is also very stupid  (wear what you like, or as my mom would say, "fine, I give up, you look like a Christmas tree") but, when applied to food, it has yet to lead me down a regrettable path.

Good luck! Enjoy! And goodnight. :)

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