It's been a busy couple weeks in Maggie-land, but I am back with a stupidly easy pasta recipe for you today. I'm the absolute worst at cooking dinner for myself when things get busy, but this takes 15 minutes of your life, and makes two perfect and super-cheesy portions.
Speaking of cheese, I got in a fight involving a plate of cheese fries this weekend. I'm not usually a fighter. When people are jerks to me, I typically don't know how I want to react to the situation until 3 hours later, at which point it's way too late to give the person a piece of my mind. This weekend, that all changed.
On Saturday, my group of friends and I did a Christmas-themed bar crawl through Arlington, VA. We go every December, and it's possibly one of the most fun events we do all year. People get super into it with ugly sweaters and Christmas costumes (including Ralphie in the pink bunny suit from A Christmas Story and Cousin Eddie, bathrobe and all.)
Annie comes down from New Jersey every year for this event, and at some point on Saturday we randomly decided that we wanted cheese fries. We were at the last bar on the crawl, and finally order a plate of the delicious snack we've been jonesing for all day. There was no server for the bar tables we were standing at with Ralphie and Cousin Eddie, so I went up to the bar myself to retrieve the fries and deposit them at our table, and then ran back to the bar to grab plates and napkins. When I return, two dudes who I have never met before in my life are standing there chowing down on our fries. I will call them Lutz, because cheese-fry thief #1 looked like Lutz from 30 Rock, and Jacques, because cheese-fry thief #2 happened to be French.
Now, I didn't jump right into yelling at Lutz and Jacques without first making it explicitly clear that a) I did not know them, b) have no interest in sharing my food with grubby-fingered strangers, and c) wanted them to stop eating immediately. Well, Jacques made the grave error of informing me that they would order a second round. I informed them that the fries weren't the point. The point was, I thought it was weird and rude that they would come up to a stranger's table and start eating their food. Meanwhile, Lutz continued to hoover my fries like a crazed wildebeest. In the interest of brevity, here's a video loosely depicting what occurred next:
As it turns out, yelling finally clarified my stance on strangers eating my bar snack, and Lutz and Jacques skulked off to another table.
I was still perturbed about the interaction, but ready to move on, when one of my friends stops by the table to inquire what happened. She says, "umm, Lutz says to tell you you're a bitch."
No me gusta.
I marched over to their table and proceeded to yell at them for a good 3 minutes while they cowered in terror. I was so furious that I don't remember specific details of what I yelled, but Annie informed me after the fact that she could tell by my articulate yelling that I was an English major.
Lessons to take from this story:
a. Don't eat a stranger's cheese fries.
b. Don't argue with an English major; she will destroy you using only her words.
c. Don't call a girl a bitch unless you want to experience the true definition of the word.
d. Standing up for yourself and not letting jerks walk all over you feels awesome.
I feel like I should have a cheese fry recipe now instead of a pasta recipe:
2 1/2 cups dried penne pasta
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 (12-ounce) can lowfat evaporated milk
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste
Prepare penne according to package directions for al dente pasta. During the last two minutes of boiling, add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pot. Drain, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, start your sauce. In a large, deep skillet, combine evaporated milk, Italian shredded cheese, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is completely melted. Once the cheese is melted, add in the drained pasta and parmesan cheese and stir. Cook for two minutes until parmesan is melted and everything is heated through. Salt pasta to taste. If your sauce is still a bit on the thin side, remove pasta from heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken before serving.
Makes 2 smallish servings.
You may also like Sun-dried Tomato Risotto or Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Source: Adapted from Very Best Baking