While cooking, listen to this: Eagle Birds by The Black Keys
Yesterday, I accidentally got sucked into reading about cults.
Yes, I know, the irony kills me too, but honestly reading about cults is just a deep dark hole on the Internet. And while I have no plans to join a cult any time soon, The New York Times and New York Magazine instilled a fear in me so real, I think I’ll be avoiding Kool-Aid and self-help anything for the rest of my life.
It started with reading the New York Times daily email newsletter, and ended with me endlessly Googling the middle-aged ex-felon who somehow managed to live in his daughter’s dorm and manipulate her and her college friends into doing and believing some crazy shit. Needless to say, I might not be sleeping for the rest of the week.
I had dinner with my great aunt last night, who used to be a New York City judge. I told her about the article (and then sent it to her, recommending she read it over breakfast instead of before bed), and made her promise to tell me what she thought. There’s not a doubt in my mind in her decades of sitting on the bench she’s encountered some insane situations. She even offered a few to me, as reassurance. Still, as I brushed my teeth last night, I secretly thanked the innate skepticism I carry with me like a badge. The world is a crazy place.
Do you guys ever fall into deep dark web holes? I mean click through links are truly a slippery slope, and I’ve been guilty of deep diving when I should be doing work on more than one occasion. We have a Slack channel at my office where we share random, crazy things, and you better believe I’m sharing the New York piece there. Misery - or in this case sheer terror - loves company.
I’ve talked about my love of comfort food before, so let me introduce the spring version of this, for when life and the news and scary cults become too much to handle. We’ve made this lemon linguine before, you might recall. But what’s easier than dumping a bunch of green stuff in a bowl with some yummy, cheesy noodles? I believe this is a case of having your pasta and eating it too. The perfect marriage of eat yo greens and comfort in a bowl. If I hadn’t gotten dinner with my aunt last night, you’d better believe I’d have made myself a plate of this pasta - with chickpea noodles, of course, for the tum.
You really can’t go wrong with add-ins, and that’s what’s beautiful about this dish. I’m not a huge asparagus person (that’s my ONE thing - Rina’s got carrots and runny egg whites and I have asparagus), but if that’s your thing, I think they’d be a delightful add in. Also English Peas could be a fun swap. Or maybe some spinach for extra iron.
Even though warmer weather is just around the corner, which means loads of salad and popsicle cravings, I know that there’s enough scary investigative journalism to go around, so sometimes curling up with a good book, an episode of Friends and a big bowl of noodles - sprinkled with some greens - is exactly what a weeknight needs.
SPRING VEGGIE LEMON PARMESAN PASTA
Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 15-20m
Category: Main, Spring
Source: veggies added to this recipe from queen Nigella Lawson
2 pounds linguine
1 ½ fresh or frozen broccoli
1 ½ fresh or frozen green peas
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
⅔ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prep: in the largest pot you own, add water and a hefty dash of salt and bring to a boil.
Prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, add the egg yolks, heavy cream, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until the ingredients are just combined.
Prepare the pasta: once the water is at a roiling boil, add the pasta slowly. Stir the pasta often with a pasta spoon so that the pasta doesn't stick together and cooks evenly. Cook according to package instructions, but more importantly by what you like. If you're a fan of softer pasta, cook longer!
If using fresh veggies: add to the pasta when there’s about 3 minutes left of cooking.
If using frozen veggies (hi): add to the pasta when there’s about 5-6 minutes left of cooking.
Finish the pasta: when the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it and add the pasta back into the pot. Add the butter and stir until the butter has completely melted and coated the linguine. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
To serve: garnish with some more grated Parmesan and dig in.
To keep: this pasta will keep pretty well in the fridge for a few days in a tightly-sealed container.