I love to cook. Truth be told, I like to cook more on cooler days than I do on hot summer days. Through the years I have figured out ways to use some shortcuts and still serve my kids nutritious meals without all the fuss.
Today is pretty hot-so my quick fix lunch involves left over sautéed zucchini from last night’s dinner, fresh spinach, chopped garlic, chopped onion, olive oil and a quality pasta.
About 1 cup of olive oil
1 head of garlic, chopped
2 small onions chopped
1 kilo of spinach, stems discarded, leaves washed
1-2 zucchinis chopped
1 box (or 500g) of pasta
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan before serving
water for boiling pasta
After you chop your onions and garlic saute them in olive oil on a medium low fire. Onions take longer to cook than garlic so you saute them first. When the onions are crystalline you can add your roughly chopped garlic, being careful not to brown either of these. When garlic is browned it becomes bitter.
Make sure by this time you have started boiling your water for your pasta. I always throw a handful of kosher salt into the pasta water AFTER it has already started boiling. When it’s a rolling boil, throw in your salt, and then the pasta.
When the pasta is done you can drain it and mix it in the frying pan with your onion, garlic, zucchini and olive oil. Always salt and pepper each time you add a new ingredient into the mix and make sure you taste as you go. If you are not using a spaghetti pot, be sure to reserve about a cup of the salted water to add to your pasta before you serve it.
Blanch your spinach quickly. You only need to boil it for less than a minute. Add it to your pasta mixture in your frying pan and toss so that everything is well coated with the olive oil and garlic.
Transfer your pasta to your serving bowl, add one cup of the salted water that you boiled the pasta in and then toss. Sprinkle your pasta with parmesan cheese and keep extra parmesan so everyone can add cheese according to their own tastes. My kids LOVE cheese so they always add a little more.
You can use other variations of veggies in this dish like sugar snap peas, sweet peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and even carrots.
For today, we enjoyed this quick meal and just had watermelon for dessert. It was quick, easy and good for the whole family, even Gelli loved it!