The other day I invited one of my friends from work and her husband over for dinner. In the course of our Facebook message conversation, the following happened (names have been hidden to protect the innocent):
I know better than to serve tofu when we have someone over for the first time, but “he doesn’t really eat vegetables”? That was going to take a little more thinking than the tact I was originally going to take. So, I thought back to the olden days (2 years ago), when I lived at home and vegetables were more of a side than a main attraction. And I dug this out of my recipe binder:
Between the stains on the original that was photocopied and the newer stains in the corners, you can tell this recipe has been made a few times. I remember eating this fairly regularly growing up, especially if we were having company. It’s a really simple and fast meal to put together, but it tastes delicious and will please almost anyone.
I tried searching online for the recipe, but I wasn’t able to come up with an original source, only that we’re not the only family who calls it one of their favorites. Brian and I almost exclusively use whole wheat pasta, but I purchased regular spaghetti for this recipe because it requires some mixing at the end and whole wheat pasta seems to break into tiny pieces. I also assemble the recipe slightly differently than the original.
Spaghetti with Herbed Tomatoes and Cheese
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- olive oil
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 4 tsp. dried or 8 tsp. fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese/salt to taste
- Dice the tomatoes and set them aside. Congratulate yourself on being done with the hardest part of this recipe.
- Begin cooking the spaghetti according to the package instructions. While you wait for the water to boil, heat some olive oil (a couple tablespoons is fine; I never measure) in a large skillet. Add the tomatoes, basil and garlic. Simmer, stirring occasionally, as the pasta cooks. Add salt to taste.
- When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Pour the tomato sauce over the pasta and toss to combine.
- Slowly add the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan (if you’re using it) to the pot, stirring the pasta as you add it. It’s probably going to clump together and leave big spots of cheese. It’s okay, it tastes good that way.
- Serve to your vegetable hating friends (and the ones who love vegetables too).
Brian helped out by chopping up a bunch of vegetables and making a huge salad.
Everyone enjoyed the meal and we had a really fun evening together. My friend’s husband made the most of the bread and the spaghetti. He didn’t touch the salad. I guess she was right, he really doesn’t like vegetables.