If there’s one thing I hate, it’s working a nine to five job. If there’s another thing I hate, it’s having to do so because I spend too much money on things I don’t need. I am a young, self employed renaissance man. That means not having a steady income every week. So, I have to do the best I can to cut corners on things I can so I can do all the fun stuff I love. And I LOVE fun stuff. One such thing I’ve done to save a few bucks is cook my own food.
People that can’t cook irritate me. I figure if I can cook gourmet quality food, any idiot can. I’m almost entirely self taught, armed with all I’ve learned from Alton Brown and Jeff Smith, and despite a screwed up recipe here or there, rarely am I disappointed. I use very simple methods, I hardly ever measure, and my results are great.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis a few years ago. I’ll spare the details, but this debilitating disease has caused me to drastically change my diet and lifestyle for the better. It is almost a blessing in disguise (although some days it makes me want to leap out of a twenty story window). Ever since, I started cooking my own meals, and the following recipe is one that I’ve found to be healthy, nutritious, and easy to make.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Olive oil (just bring the bottle, you’ll be using it a few times)
A clove of garlic or a few shakes of garlic powder
A few shakes of oregano
A few shakes of pepper
Two 6.5 oz cans of clams in clam juice (I use Snow by Bumble Bee)
Two 4 oz containers of frozen scallops
Half a 12 oz container (or 6 oz) of roasted red peppers marinated in olive oil
1 lb of pasta of your choice (I prefer linguine)
Salted water (for the pasta you dingus!)
One 15 oz can of sweet peas
One 6.5 oz can of mushrooms
One cat (living)
1. Pet the cat vigorously to calm your nerves. You may even attempt to summon cat god for guidance during this recipe. Let the cat go on his merry way to do cat stuff and wash your hands.
2. Heat up about 1/4 cup of the olive oil (I use extra virgin) in a sauce pan on medium heat. To this add either a chopped up clove or two of garlic, or a couple of vigorous shakes of garlic powder, to your liking. My grandfather smothers his food in garlic, whereas I like it to just be present. Add oregano, pepper and the JUICE of the clams, reserving the actual clams for later, and bring this to a bubbly simmer.
3. While the sauce is beginning to simmer, begin to boil salted water for the pasta in a covered pot. This is going to take a while, so get it started early. Use PLENTY. Even more than you think would be necessary. This is the only time you’ll get to infuse the noodles with salt, so be liberal with it.
4. Put about two tablespoons (at least a couple of glugs) of olive oil in a skillet. Saute the scallops (still frozen) on medium to medium high heat until softened. A significant amount of scallop juice will come out. Add scallops (with the juice that has cooked out) and clams to the sauce mixture. Continue to simmer.
5. In the same skillet you cooked the scallops in, add the peppers and saute on medium low heat. They are already dressed in olive oil, so you needn’t add any more. Saute for several minutes until heated through.
6. When the water boils, add the pasta, take the lid off and boil for about 9 minutes. This is just under al dente but there’s a reason. Strain this in a colander.
7. While the pasta drains, add sauce, peppers, peas and mushrooms to the pot you cooked the pasta in. Add the pasta and continue to cook for another minute or two. The mixture will be a bit soupy.
8. This dish is best after a few hours of sitting in the fridge, even better if over night. It will soak up the rest of that sauce and get a lot of good flavor. You can then reheat it, and serve it with Parmesan cheese.
This will make PLENTY of pasta. You can have a huge pasta party. This is a good way to get kids to eat their vegetables.
The peppers and peas add lots of good color to the dish. I would think that tossing some onions in during the saute with the peppers would also be a good idea to add some good flavor as well. Add whatever spices you wish and use whatever pasta you wish. You could add shrimp, or even flake some salmon in there. You can do ANYTHING you want when you cook.