Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fast & Furious Pasta

We stopped at my in-law's house on our way home from a shopping trip to Costco the other day. My husband likes to buy a little something for his mom now and then, and stop by to drop it off and check on his parents.

I noticed right away that my mother-in-law looked tired.

If it was because she has been spending more time in the kitchen than usual lately, or because she's been working non-stop on the 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle she got for Christmas, I don't know, but I knew I could help her by making them some lunch. My brother-in-law and his family had just moved in next door and were unloading the moving van, so they'd need to be fed too.

That's why I'm calling this Fast & Furious Pasta.

I made it fast.

And furiously.

I become a little more driven when I think I'm helping.

If you need something in a hurry, this might give you an idea. You can make it just about in the time it takes the noodles to cook.

Step 1:

Start a pot of water to boil for the pasta.

I have a small cupboard under the stove where I keep all my pastas. I keep an assortment of whole wheat pastas--the assortment that Costco carries. I also have a few packages of semolina spaghetti, and that's what I chose, because I know my in-laws prefer those.

Step 2:

Choose your ingredients.

What's good about making this kind of pasta, is that you make it with whatever you have on hand. Get your leftovers out. Check and see what you've got hanging out in your freezer. Check your pantry.

We were just coming back from Costco, so I used the spinach, mushrooms and grape tomatoes we bought. I had some leftover chicken, so I sliced that up. In the fridge I had half an onion, a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, some olives, leftover roasted peppers and capers, which I gave a quick chop to along with some garlic.

You don't need a lot of things like this, whatever you have on hand works fine, and the amounts don't really matter.

Step 3:

Start cooking.

When the water started to boil, I put the pasta in.

Then I got my frying pan out and started the sauce with olive oil and the garlic and onions. When the onions started to wilt, I added about 2 pats of butter, a few chili flakes, about half a cup of sake, then everything but the spinach. 

When the mixture started to boil, I added a couple of handfuls of spinach and put the lid on the pan.

Step 4:

Drain the pasta and put it in a serving dish.

Stir the spinach into the vegetables and add some freshly ground pepper.

You want to be sure the spinach is barely cooked and still bright green.

I poured the sauce over the noodles, put some foil on it, and sent Gary out the door with some paper plates to his mom's house, while I made the sukiyaki while the light in the kitchen was good.

It only takes about 30-40 minutes to make.

Okay, maybe that's a little longer than it takes the noodles to cook, but it doesn't take long!


This is my mother-in-law, modeling one of my craft sweaters. 

She said about being a model, "In my whole life, I never thought I would do such a thing!"

I think she makes a cute model.

She thinks of cooking as a chore, where I think of it as enjoyment, so I often share what I make with her. She likes everything and is very appreciative.

I'm very appreciative to her, too.

She raised a wonderful son, my husband.

No printable recipe for this one yet.


  1. Aww :) I agree your mom-in-law makes a very cute model!

  2. It's wonderful that your mother-in-law is one of your models - she looks great in the sweater!

    You are like my mom - she can whip up something with whatever she can find in the cupboard and it would be delicious.