As a mom, it seems like most of your life is spent making the lives of other people happen. It can be a joyous, but often thankless job and often leaves you wondering, what is left for me?
My answer: pasta! And lots of it.
So on this chilly April morning, once Reese was down for his nap (and after my happy dance down the hall that he had acquiesced to sleep), I made myself a big bowl of starchy delicious goodness. Who cared that it was only 9:30AM? It was pasta time for Mama.
I've been having a few of "those" days where I have just been feeling annoyed by everything, and feeling particularly frustrated that the only thing that I do for "me" these days is shower, use the bathroom (which is frequently interrupted by my precious intrepid explorer) and dance like a moron at my local Zumba class on Mondays and Wednesdays (seriously, they just need to put me in a padded room when anything Britney comes on). I've even put the brakes on working diligently on shetrusts to avoid the anxiety I get when I can't devote my full attention to an important job. So when yet another week was drawing to a close and it was becoming time again to pack up the farm house and head down towards Charleston, I needed to hit the PAUSE button and make myself some pasta, dammit!
You should know that my love affair with pasta started many moons ago. It began as the cornerstone to my competitive swimmer's diet, usually topped with plain, sensible ingredients such as pesto, tomato sauce, and grilled chicken. But once my eyes were opened to the delicious world of Giada de Laurentiis, Mario Batalli, and Nigella Lawson, my pasta repertoire expanded to include the decadent likes of carbonara, leeks with pancetta, and a host of other more indulgent and fanciful varieties. And whenever I was feeling particularly beat up by a long day at work or just needed a little something to provide that extra warm embrace of comfort that only food can provide, the solution is usually some form of pasta.
Hehehehehhee! I get giddy just talking about it.
So again, the solution to my life's problems this morning was again my dear ole noodle friend. Looking to make something quickly and on the fly, I was at the mercy of what I had on hand in my kitchen. I looked in the pantry and was ecstatic to find that I had some bucatini, which I could top with the fresh campari tomatoes that were in the fridge. I also grabbed a fresh block of Parmigiano Reggiano and butter to take to the stove with the tomatoes. The stage was set! I was almost done with my concoction when I realized that I had half a log of fresh mozzarella in the fridge, and I think I actually squealed with delight when I ran over there to grab it. Sadly the only ingredient that I was missing was garlic, which somehow did not make it onto my shopping list this week (tsk, tsk!). You have no idea how hard it was for me to be patient and snap a picture of this heavenly bowl before I dug into it, fully snuggled into the couch with my favorite Gilmore Girls rerun on, of course.
I hope you enjoy this little take on one of my favorite noodles. I hope I've encouraged you to take a minute and indulge in something simple for yourself whenever you feel like life is just driving you nuts, whatever your "pasta" is for you.
The "Just Because I Need It" Pasta
Serves 1 (ha!)
1/3 box of Bucatini noodles
6-8 Campari (or "on-the-vine") tomatoes, diced
3-4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon butter
Approximately 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
A few pinches of fresh mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Flat leaf Italian parsley, for garnish
1. Boil the pasta noodles in a large saucepan according to the package's instructions. Drain and DO NOT rinse. Place pasta back into the saucepan.
2. With the heat on medium-low, top the pasta with the diced tomatoes and cook (stirring frequently) for a few minutes. Then follow with the remaining ingredients. Stir for another minute or two until a light sauce forms.
3. Turn onto your favorite dish, and garnish with the parsley.
4. Snuggle up onto your couch, and enjoy!