Last night’s dinner was literally put together on the fly. It had been another hot day, M was away for work, I wasn’t in the mood to cook and even contemplated running out for a take-away. But time passed and soon, it was 7:30. Too late to drive out for food, or to concoct anything too time-consuming. With some freshly-plucked tomatoes pleading to be eaten, I had visions of a light linguine dish with garlic, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and a sprinkling of basil. Inspired, I prepared the tomatoes and harvested some basil leaves before opening the refrigerator.
Now that was my mistake.
I discovered leftover ingredients from our last dinner – julienned pieces of mushroom and leek, sulking away in the cold chamber. Right next to them were the crumbs of parmesan that looked equally forlorn. I knew that it would have been impolite to ignore their cold stares and close the fridge as if nothing happened.
So, I changed my plans. I prepared the linguine, chopped up some garlic and threw it in a pan, added the leeks and mushroom before searing them with a splash of white wine (a Bourgogne Blanc, if you’d like to know), and set an egg to poach. Within two minutes I had three pans bubbling away as the tomatoes took their balsamic and olive oil bath, and even had the time to refill my glass. Shortly after, I tossed the linguine with the vegetables, added the poached egg, threw on the parmesan and some freshly-chopped parsley and settled down for a dose of Anthony Bourdain‘s brutal wit.
It was a very good night.
Danielle’s Quick & Simple Pasta Dinner
This recipe is why pasta remains my all-time favorite dish. With the right combination of ingredients, I feel like I’m having a new dish every time! This particular recipe works better with pasta strands, like linguine, angel hair, or spaghetti.
A handful of dried linguine or spaghetti, about 3 to 5 ounces
1 clove garlic, minced
2 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
Half a leek, white parts only, quartered
2 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Dry white wine, half cup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Set the pasta to cook in a saucepan of heavily-salted boiling water. In the meantime, poach the egg. I use these egg poaching pods for a disaster-free poaching experience, but use whichever method you’re most comfortable with. This site offers a pretty detailed guide on egg poaching.
When the pasta is half-cooked, heat a skillet with a splash of olive oil and add the garlic. After two minutes, add the leeks and mushroom, stirring to coat them in oil. Once all the oil is absorbed, add the wine, let it bubble away merrily and season with salt and pepper.
Once the pasta is ready, work quickly to assemble the dish. Toss the linguine with the leek and mushroom sauce, add the egg and garnish with parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.