Julia Child once said “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” I agree 100%, although I don’t think anybody would really argue with Julia Child anyways.
So, here I have an extremely simple and equally delicious pasta meal. Just organic spaghetti, fresh local produce, spices and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Living in a Downtown area, we don’t have many food markets nearby and usually drive 10-15 minutes to hit up either Trader Joe’s, Target or Costco. Thankfully a great little market opened up around the same time we moved to Hartford, it’s called The Greenway Market. After talking to the owner, I gave myself the challenge of creating a dish made with only local produce found at the market. This is not a sponsored post, just an idea of how easy it is to create a great meal with just a few ingredients found anywhere.
What I purchased:
- Organic spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese
- Unsalted butter
What I had on hand:
- Sea Salt
- Red chili flakes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I am no cook or professional food blogger for that matter so bare with me with the recipe.The idea from this recipe is from Damn Delicious, however, I made a few alterations because I found the original to be too high in fat.
1 package organic spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tablespoon chili flakes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded or crumbled
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup pasta water
I love when procedures for recipes are explained in steps so I’m going to do the same here.
- Wash asparagus, cut off ends and then chop into three 2-inch pieces approximately. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons EVOO, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes at 425*F.
- Bring water to a rolling boil, add a splash of oil and lots of salt. Nigella Lawson says pasta water must be as salty as the Mediterranean sea, you can’t argue with Nigella Lawson either. Cook spaghetti to an al-dente texture.
- In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add the chopped garlic and chili flakes. Reduce heat so the garlic doesn’t burn. The butter will get foamy, don’t worry about it. Once done, set aside.
- Drain the pasta but do not rinse, you’re going to want the starch to help create a silky smooth sauce. Before draining, take out 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- Toss the spaghetti with the brown butter sauce, add the Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped parsley, and asparagus. Slowly add the pasta water to create a light creamy sauce. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper.
The final product:
Sure it has butter and EVOO but it’s made with simple, non-processed ingredients. Once in a while it’s okay to have pasta with brown butter sauce. If you’ve seen the movie Chef this pasta reminds me of the one he makes for Scarlett Johansson’s character at the beginning of the film.
All opinions are my own.