When we’re stuck inside one of my favorite ways to pass the time is by cooking. Cooking is very therapeutic for me. In our house, I’m really the only cook. Michael never learned and Jack is just now getting into the idea that cooking with mom can be fun. Whenever I have time, I prepare a home cooked meal. I like being alone in the kitchen quietly following a recipe or creating something of my own. Not only do I relish having time to create I am honoring the Italian tradition of food equaling love. Whether I’m whipping up a quick egg and cheese sandwich or preparing something more elaborate it’s done with love and the knowledge that I’m feeding my family.
A few weeks ago we were faced with a dreaded snow day. Jack was overjoyed. I was a little less so. Michael was away on a business trip, I had tons of consulting work to do and little Jack was home anxious to do something…anything! It was his genius mind that came up with the food challenge: let’s make something we’ve never made before. Our idea: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil). It’s a super simple dish and I was a little surprised that I hadn’t made it in a really long time. Michael is not a huge fan of garlic (yes, I married him anyway) so it’s not really something I can make for a family meal. But while the cat’s away…
The problem with so many of my recipes passed down from my Grandmother is that there are no simple measurements that I can offer. Her way of sharing a recipe was to say, “you take some garlic, cook it up in the oil, add some water and pepper flakes,” and you were supposed to know what to do. I follow Grandma’s instructions when I cook, but I like to vet them with a published recipe for proportion and cook time guidance. For our Snow Day Meal, I followed Ina Garten’s recipe, which you can find here.
What makes this meal so easy is that it’s made with ingredients any home cook would have on hand. What makes it even better is that the sauce can go on just about anything. After a day indoors I wasn’t too keen on having carbs so I used the aglio e oglio sauce on top of steamed kale. Was it as satisfying as spaghetti? No. Was it delicious? Yes!