Boredom & leftovers work wonders

I didn't feel like making the trek to Manhattan tonight, so I decided to stay in and cook for me and my brother. I had been craving pasta, and I knew we had some linguine in the cabinet. So I tossed it together with some leftover olives, among other things. I also wanted to make meatballs because I had made it once for my mother's party. This time I put my own spin on it and took a little from different recipes. I don't really have set measurements for the linguine since I just sort of tossed in things I thought would taste good and guesstimated the amounts.

linguine with olives
  • 1/2 box of linguine
  • olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer)
  • handful of olives
  • 2 plum tomatoes chopped up
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
  • 3 shallots (tiny onions)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes to sprinkle on top
Boil the pasta to the point before it becomes cooked because you're going to cook it again in the pan. While boiling the pasta, start sauteing the garlic and shallots in olive oil. I usually add the salt here, so that the oil doesn't jump out of the pan, little secret I learned from my momma. When they've browned nicely, add the pasta and 1/3 cup of the pasta water(maybe? I just poured some in, not drowning the pasta, but maybe about 1/2 inch from the bottom). It keeps the pasta from drying out and the water will eventually get soaked up by the pasta ( I learned that from Lydia Bastianach). Toss the pasta a bit, then add pepper and the olives. The last thing I added was the tomatoes so that they still retained their freshness and don't become mushy, because I wasn't making marinara sauce.

  • 1 lb beef
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • handful of chopped basil
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • olive oil
Lightly mix all the ingredients, except for the olive oil and flour, together with your hands. Get all that stuff mixed together evenly as you can. Then start rolling small balls, about an inch or smaller, in a circular motion in your palm and then roll them in the flour. Tap off the excess flour. It's a lot easier to roll them all first before you start cooking unless you have another person helping you to turn the meatballs in the pan, otherwise it's like a juggling act.

In a pan, heat up the olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Then, lower the heat to about medium low, spacing out the meatballs so that they can cook evenly, drop those babies in. Let each side brown deeply and continually rotate them. They take about 5-8 minutes to cook, but keep an eye on them because they can burn really quickly. Eat them while they're hot, although they're still tasty at room temperature.

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