Last week, my parents let me crash at their place, use their car, and generally disrupt their lives (hey, it’s what kids do, even when they’re all growed up). So, to thank them, I offered to cook them dinner one night while I was in town. My mom is somewhat persnickety about the ingredients she likes and dislikes, so I opted for a cavatappi with sauteed vegetables. There was a recipe that I started with (I believe it was from Regis Philbin’s wife, of all people), but I modified it so much and it was so easy that there’s really no point in digging around my luggage to find it. Basically, I sauteed the garlic, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms in a little olive oil while the pasta cooked and the chicken browned; the “sauce” was nothing more than a little bit of dry white wine and some chicken broth. I added fresh chopped basil at the end–I think the original recipe called for dried, but that idea was wholly unacceptable to me. Oh, and I threw in some red pepper flakes for kick, but not nearly enough for my taste.
That’s the beauty of these simple pasta dishes–you can throw in whatever you like, omit whatever you don’t, and enjoy a home-cooked meal that is healthy and easy to prepare. And the leftovers were great!