Today we cooked. We made supper that we’ll talk more about tomorrow, but when we started making supper, someone was hungry.
“Mom, how long til dinner’s ready?”
“About 2 hours.”
“2 hours!? But I’m hungry now!”
“Snack on some peanuts. You don’t want to be too full for supper.”
“Peanuts won’t be enough. I’m really hungry.”
“If you eat more than peanuts, you won’t be hungry when the food’s ready.”
“Can I make garlic butter pasta?”
“You won’t be hungry if you eat that.”
“But I’m hungry. Would it be ok if I make the pasta?”
“Fine. But you still need to eat dinner when it’s ready. Here, just use this penne.”
“Can you stay and help me make it?”
“I thought you were making it.”
“But I like how you make it.”
And so, I talked him through making it. And he did eat almost 3 servings of it. And then he ate lots of supper. Just kind of scary if you ask me.
This is one of the easiest pasta dishes I've ever made without opening a jar, and it's become a go-to food when anyone here is hungry. I like to salt my water heavily (i.e. to the level of sea water), and the pasta absorbs enough salt that way that I don't need to add any with the garlic butter. We typically make this with spaghetti, but any pasta will work. Fresh homemade pasta would be wonderful if you want to take the time.
Add a little bit of basil or minced onion if you like. You could also add the Parmesan while stirring the pasta to let it melt. The lemon juice can be omitted if you don't have any at hand. Feel free to use more pepper if you like.
- 1 pound dried pasta of your choice
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste or 2 minced cloves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Prepare the pasta to al dente in heavily salted water according to package directions.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pasta liquid in the pot.
- Return the pot to the burner over medium-high heat.
- Add the butter to the pasta water and stir until melted.
- Add the garlic, lemon juice, oregano, and black pepper to the melted butter, stirring to distribute.
- Return the pasta to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Stir and toss the pasta constantly until most of the water has evaporated and the pasta is coated with buttery sauce.
- Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
- Serve with shredded or grated Parmesan.