Nutmeg pasta

Oh how I wish I had this recipe back when I had an excess of nutmeg!

There’s not really much to it, but a magazine cover in the grocery store was making me hungry for pasta with cheese, and even though the picture looked like your everyday Parmesan-on-spaghetti, I still had to go looking to see if there were any inspirational ideas out there. Not only inspirational, but “A Eureka Pasta Moment” is what I found.

His Eureka Moment was using a big of pasta water to make the cheesy sauce. Mine was the nutmeg addition.

al dente

I’m going to get a little controversial here but I feel like this phrase is overused these days. I’m not referring specifically to this person but I see it all over when I’m looking at pasta recipes and get the feeling people are throwing it in just to sound good. I’m pretty sure I first heard “al dente” used in an Olive Garden (or similar) commercial as a kid and it exploded from there. At the same time my mom had taught me that spaghetti’s done when it sticks to the refrigerator – I wonder if there’s an Italian word for that.

According to the Wikipedia, “Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked or “al forno” pasta dishes, which will be baked.” Beyond that feel free to cook your pasta as mushy as you like. I’ve been throwing it in, setting the timer, and walking away my entire life without a problem so maybe I’m just defensive that people are turning the easiest meal in the world, short of ramen noodles, into something that can be done “wrong”.

Actually I have to admit pasta can be done wrong, only because I had a boyfriend in college who didn’t know to boil the water first, and made us very wrong, soggy macaroni and cheese. “Al dente” would be a good cover for a bad cook on the other end who makes crunchy noodles though, just like I used to my burnt food “blackened”. (Don’t be offended. I’m making fun of myself!)

Oh look, pictures… there’s some butter melting in the pot.

Trying to pretend to be healthy, I cut up some fresh spinach. Normally I used frozen but this was some Andrew bought that I knew was going to be forgotten about.

This is my version of “freshly grated”…

And by magic it’s a plate of spaghetti!

With nutmeg on top… really. It was quite good. The nutmeg added enough flavor that you could easily cut back on the cheese, but who eats pasta not expecting it not to contribute to a future heart attack?

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