Maybe I have what it takes?

I don’t call meals in our house by their names, I call them “snacks,” because I tend to eat like a 5 year old. More nights of the week I have string cheese for “dinner” that I can’t in good faith really call it “dinner,” and I very rarely cook. I mean, I cook for my kid, if you count making tortellini from a box from Costco and throwing it in some marinara sauce.

When I was newly married, Boof came home to find me eating Tostitos chips with cheese melted on (let’s call them “nachos” shall we?) and a Klondike bar…for dinner. I’m basically a frat boy or bachelor in my eating choices. And while I can make an amazing lasagna, tacos, and a dish called “smothered chicken,” I very rarely cook. It overwhelms me to say the least.

So, the other day, when I was perusing Offbeat Home, I came across this “one pot pasta” recipe that looked…um…amazing. And so I went out to the story and bought the ingredients. I even got wild and bought a bag of fresh crimini mushrooms. The recipe called for shallots (whatever the hell those are), but overall it looked like a super simple recipe and so yesterday I got to cracking. I even got fancy and fried up the mushrooms and garlic and shallots in oil before I dumped them in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. I even got crazy and added sausage chunks (which didn’t need to be added) and the result: delish.

It’s recipes like this that make me think that maybe I have what it takes to be a good cook. I actually really enjoyed the process, and the result was better than any boxed meal I could have made. But I was prepared, and preparing stresses me out most days. And trying to get everything done in a short amount of time, with a crazy toddler, stresses me out even more. Also, when I’m overly hungry my brain reverts to only remembering things I like to eat…which means I reach for goldfish crackers or string cheese or cookies. I’m surprised I’m not 400lbs with the kind of snacking I live off.

So if you want the recipe, here it is:


  • One box (or 12 ounces) spinach linguine
  • ½ Cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit or lessen to your tastes)
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, extra basil, and pepper to garnish


Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a large pan. The pan should be large enough for the linguine to lay flat without being broken.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil on high heat, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the liquid is nearly evaporated (10-12 minutes).

Garnish with Parmesan cheese, pretty basil ribbons, and a little more pepper.

Again, I added sausage and Crimini mushrooms (fresh) from Trader Joes. And I didn’t have quite 12oz of pasta, but it still worked ok. I’ll have to play with the liquids in the future, they were a little soggy, but still overall delish.


Any quick and easy (but delicious) recipes you have to share for this stressed out snacking mama?