Whip up a soul-satisfying batch of garlicky noodles the next time you’re craving a little something special to eat. Hot or cold, this recipe is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Eating noodles while avoiding nightshades and gluten at the same time is HARD people. I mean, there are recipes out there for nomato sauces (tomato-less pasta sauces), but every single one I tried left me tired and hangry (and left my kitchen a total disaster zone).
So after two failed attempts at nomato sauce, I decided that I needed to change my approach to eating pasta.
No more trying to mimic my beloved tomato sauce. Because, let’s be honest, that’s pretty much impossible. Instead, I needed to spend my time making a simple noodle dish that would satisfy my craving for pasta without destroying my kitchen or crushing my spirit.Read More
There are days (okay, all of them) that I am in a rush to get dinner on the table. Where I have approximately 5 minutes before a hangry meltdown transpires. I also typically have a little person hanging off of my body and/or wanting to help.
Needless to say, most recipes I make these days are quick, easy, and something that won’t kill The Babe if she’s in the kitchen helping.
One-pot pastas fit the bill and then some.
I chop, The Babe transfers it to the pot.
I continue chopping, The Babe stirs everything in the pot.
I finish chopping, The Babe is busy smashing the tomatoes and flinging the dried pasta noodles out of the pot.
And 12 minutes later, dinner is officially on the table.
Get dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat with this deliciously simple one-pot pasta inspired by The Little Kitchen. It's flavors are mild enough for new eaters, with a complexity that will satisfy even the most serious of foodies.
And by pasta, I mean spaghetti with tomato sauce. The Hubster would occasionally add in some meatballs or ask me to whip up a meat sauce. Or I’d throw in some chickpeas. But that was the exception to the rule.
Not that we were complaining about it. Because we weren’t.
But every now and then, I remind myself that it’s okay to switch things up. To get a little variety and try some new flavor combinations. To flex my creative cooking muscles.
When I came across this recipe from Edible Perspective, I got really excited. It was so different from anything we typically make around here, that it gave me butterflies in my stomach. I knew I wanted to try it, but was afraid it would be too different.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. It was delicious. Even The Babe gobbled it down. Which is saying something.
When the time came to make it, I realized that I have a bad habit of not reading recipes in advance.
It usually isn’t a problem, until said recipe calls for roasting garlic for 45 minutes. And then I’m screwed, because it’s 5:30PM and I generally don’t have the time to wait unless I want to feed The Babe something else for dinner.
All I have to say is thank goodness for the convection setting on the oven.
1 pint fresh cherry or heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
1 cup cooked black or green lentils
If cooking lentils, make sure to start those about 45 minutes ahead of when you want to eat. If using pre-cooked lentils, follow directions on package for heating up.
Preheat oven to 375°F. (Can use convection setting to reduce cooking time.)
Remove any loose paper from garlic head, and slice tips off (about 1/4").
Place on a foil covered baking sheet (or in a muffin tin) and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes to absorb oil.
Place in oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and garlic is soft.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Squeeze out garlic cloves and mash with a fork.
Transfer to a jar and combine with 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Shake like crazy and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package (about 8-10 minutes typically).
While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add in spinach and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.
Drain spaghetti and return to pot. Add in roasted garlic and lemon dressing. Toss to coat.
To plate: add noodles, and top with spinach and tomato mixture and 1/4 cup cooked lentils.
Dairy free, corn free, soy free, egg free. Can be gluten free and wheat free depending on choice of noodles. Want to make it nightshade free? Simply swap out the tomatoes for another veggie, like broccoli or asparagus.
I honestly don’t remember what life was like before sriracha.
Okay, okay, I do remember what it was like. It certainly wasn’t as exciting. Or spicy. Which, in hindsight is probably a good thing since spice made me… sick.
Maybe I’m just making up for all that lost time; relishing in the ability to load it on without any repercussions.
Other things that I’m relishing? Broccoli. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s been finding it’s way into pretty much everything I cook lately.
The Hubster is quite happy about that arrangement.
As is The Babe. She freakin’ loves broccoli.
If broccoli’s not your thing (which I totally get, I used to be just like you), no matter. This recipe is super flexible and can be made with whatever veggies you have on hand and/or love.
Our favorites: broccoli, green beans, carrots, snap peas, and zucchini.
Which, by the way, Trader Joe’s had the cutest baby zucchini’s in the store the other day. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to use those cutie-patooties. (Ugh. I just called zucchini cute. I’m blaming the lack of sleep for that one.)
Speaking of lack of sleep, this is a great recipe for those nights when you’re a.) too tired to think about dinner, b.) pressed for time, and c.) just wanting something super flavorful to go in your mouth.
This definitely hits all three, making it a TRIPLE THREAT.
Yeah. I totally went there. (LACK OF SLEEP.)
One final thought about this lo mein: I was very proud of myself at the green vegetable ratio. It’s like a billion to one, with a cameo appearance from a carrot.
I was going to add cauliflower into the mix, but that would have made it a billion to two.
What? You don’t feel virtuous when you eat green vegetables? Just me? Huh…
I feel like I do a really good job of hunkering down and creating recipes in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Summertime, for some reason, seems to fall into the “I don’t want to cook” category, and so gets sorely neglected.
And yet, there is a bounty of amazing fruits and vegetables.
Maybe that’s the problem. The fruits and vegetables that are at their peak in the Summertime are so damn good, that I’d rather just eat them as is.
And while my body is perfectly happy eating raw fruits and vegetables each meal, The Hubster prefers something a bit more…substantial.
This recipe is a bit of a compromise, with minimal cooking of gorgeous summer vegetables for me and a more substantial base of pasta for The Hubster. It’s the kind of compromise that leaves everyone at the table wanting more. And more. And more.
It’s also the kind of recipe that honors the Summertime “I don’t want to spend a copious amount of time in the kitchen” rule.
The meal takes 25 minutes from start to finish, including prepping the veggies, boiling the water, cooking the pasta, sautéing the veggies, and setting the table. Which officially makes it my favorite meal of summer.
And as such, it will be on the menu weekly until Fall.
My only regret with this recipe?
Not posting it sooner. Because that means you haven’t been able to enjoy a single morsel of it.