27 February 2010

Carb-o-riffic


I spend three to four days away from home every week teaching flute and music history at the University of Wyoming. This means some nights spent in Laramie, and my good good friend, Anne, is kind enough to allow me to stay at her place rent free (or, this is my understanding). She is also kind enough to allow me the use of her kitchen and access to her food, which is a privileged situation, indeed, when one is travelling.

No matter how comfy life in Laramie is, being in a strange bed and keeping a strange schedule does not do wonders for my sleep. Before bedtime at Anne’s house, I love a good glass of red wine and some nice, wholesome carbs before bed. That’s right, you heard me—pasta! The new fortified pastas (Barilla Plus is one) are great—multigrain but without the weird, 70s texture and heaviness of whole wheat. This recipe, stolen from an old high school boyfriend’s Italian-American momma, always makes me happy:

Boil one serving (try not to make it too big unless you want nightmares) of your favorite pasta shape. I like fetuccine, but I'm not trying to tell you how to live.

When it’s done, drain it and dress it with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and squeeze half of a small lime over it. I know, lime juice! Weird, huh? Season with salt (the juice will cut down on how much salt you need, so go slowly).

This is the basic recipe, but you can dress it up however much you want: add black pepper or crushed red pepper, minced fresh garlic, fresh basil or dill, halved cherry tomatoes, olives or capers…it can be a snack or a respectable light meal depending on what you do with it.