Last Minute Dinner For Two

Everyone has a fallback dinner to make last minute when they didn't have anything planned. Back in San Diego, I would have gone to my local taco shop for a nice big burrito. But, with a lack of any cheap and quick food that's worth the calories in Barnes, and with my new found appreciation of pasta, lately it's been our default meal. I didn't eat pasta for several years because I thought I was allergic to all of it. Turns out, I should have just paid attention and realized that not all pasta is made with eggs. Slowly, I started to incorporate it back into my diet a few months ago. I tend to prefer spelt or gluten-free varieties, just to fend off any unwanted tummy trouble.

Anyway, back to today. Minimal was the name of the game. I couldn't carry much else home with me from the gym, so I needed one or two simple ingredients. Then I came upon this recipe at Recipegirl. I bought some chopped tomatoes and zucchini, and with a few tweaks, here's what I came up with.

(By the way, brag alert, we have the best garlic bulbs ever from Paris, courtesy of my friends Elisa and Gabe who came to visit last week direct from France on a worldwide tour)

Spelt Fusilli with Thyme and Zucchini

I should probably work on my dish-naming. But I couldn't possibly call it 'al forno', seeing as how mine involved no oven time. Anyway, this serves 2 (as long as one of you eats a lot more than the other).


The particulars:

  • olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes with basil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dry thyme
  • dash of red chili flakes
  • 200g fusilli pasta
  • 1 cup goat cheddar, grated
  1. Saute the zucchini and garlic with the oil in a frying pan until fragrant and slightly softened.
  2. Meanwhile, get the pasta water boiling in another pot.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme, and chili flakes to the zucchini and garlic and season. Stir on a low-medium heat.
  4. Throw the pasta into the water (should be boiling by now).
  5. Turn down the heat on the sauce and add the tomato paste. Continue to stir until it becomes as thick as you'd like it.
  6. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce. toss.
  7. Serve with freshly grated cheese on top.

Lesson learned: This could be really great with some fresh thyme rather than dried.