I'd like to preface my intro with a very firm, I'm not the greatest cook in the world. I'm not even the greatest cook in our house. Husband is far more skilled than I could ever imagine to be. But that's a story for anther time.
For now, just know I'm getting better every day and I like to be in the kitchen far more than I used to, especially since I now know how to do more than just the dishes after a meal. :o) My cooking leans toward the more simple, measurements by eye, and most of the time pretty kid-friendly. The reason for this comes a lot from growing up with two full-time working parents and siblings a lot younger than me that I had to care for. (My sister's 11 years younger than me, my brother a year younger than her.) Similar to the main character of one of my wips, who's left to fend for both herself and her significantly younger sister oftentimes, learning to cook was more a necessity than anything else.
Now, being a full-time working mom with two young kids, a husband who, while he's the better cook, also works graveyards so cooking is often left to me, and a spastic dog that sometimes gets into everything, I just don't want cooking to be another chore. I'm not great at making up recipes, but more often than not, I like taking a recipe and giving it my own spin.
So let me share with you a super quick and easy, family friendly recipe that is a big hit if you have guests as well, since you can totally dress it up and make it look even more fancy!
Garlic Pasta with Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 lb angel hair pasta
4-6 garlic cloves (depending on size and how much you like garlic)
12 oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes
6 large button mushrooms - chopped
olive oil (if you get the sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, you can omit this)
salt and pepper
1) Boil your pasta per directions. I nearly always use angel hair pasta, but really, spaghetti or any noodley pasta will work. My family just prefers angel hair.
2) While your pasta's cooking, chop your mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
3) And crush your garlic. Okay, so I'm not really huge on kitchen contraptions. I come from a family of immigrants who've learned to live with very little, so I've got a certain level of cynicism around kitchen gadgetry, but I do have to say, Pampered Chef, how I do love my garlic press.
Yes, that's an entire unpeeled clove I just dropped in there.
That's 6 cloves of crushed garlic and my hands don't smell garlicky AT ALL! We love our garlic in this family. So, umm, this may not be the best meal to have on a first date ... just saying.
4) Your noodles should be done now, so go ahead and drain them.
5) Over medium heat, put about a tablespoon of olive oil - or use the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes- into a pan and sautee up your mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes, or until they're soft. Adding a dash of salt and pepper. Toss in the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and turn off the heat.
6) Add the pasta and toss it all together.
7) Serve it up with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and some chopped fresh parsley. And a fork.
Then eat it on up!!
My favorite thing about this recipe? Here's a few other variations I've done with it this--
feta cheese with sun-dried tomatoes
feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers
sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, onions
sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh grape tomatoes
Hope you enjoy it!