We are not particularly religious (I am an atheist), but my family has made a regular tradition of Friday night Shabbat dinners, complete with candles, challah, probably-mispronounced Hebrew prayers, and a slightly heightened sense of formality. Though the rest of my family never grew quite as attached to it, one of the regular Shabbat courses became a personal favorite of mine, a strange orzo comfort dish that had no real name. As a child I called it “stuff”. Today I call it “Friday Night Pasta”.
Now that I’m living without a meal plan (domestic or collegiate), I thought it would be nice to revisit some of my old favorites meals. I decided to start with Friday Night Pasta as it was a fairly simple recipe. The results were somewhat mixed, I’ll admit – I had no strainer to dry the pasta, and my hotplate (I have no access to a stove) barely kept the pasta at a boil.
In case anyone is interested, I’m going to post my mother’s recipe here. The pasta is not dynamic enough to stand by itself. On Friday nights we have it alongside challah and grilled salmon, and the courses complement each other well. But it is a simple, tasty carb dish – a perfect side for those getting started cooking for themselves. In my housing I’ve been having it with toaster-oven grilled bratwursts.
Here it is:
Saute 2-3 minced garlic cloves briefly in ~1/3 cup olive oil. They should barely begin to brown. Make sure a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce is open and ready in case you have too hot a heat and the garlic is galloping toward burning too quickly. Pour it over the garlic/oil and add 1/4 c. white wine. I usually use a cooking wine which is cheap and sold in the vinegar section of the grocery store. Simmer gently for 10 min. Boil a pound of orzo in salted water until done. Drain and add to sauce.
If you have any simple recipes that you think I should try, pass them on to me. If it looks easy, I’ll give it a shot and post on the results. Thanks!