I'm not at all surprised that after the week of bleh bleh bleh I was STARVING, STARVING, I TELL YOU. So one night I was cooking halfheartedly after having ransacked all the cabinets looking for something more substantial to eat. I was just going to make pasta with garlic and eggplant and maybe a poached egg, since on top of everything we had no tomatoes of any type. This would have been fine, but not significant enough to make a dent in my stomach. Then John came downstairs and started fixing himself some toaster oven chik patties. That was an idea. Were there any more chik patties left? No, but there were fake sausage patties.
My brain immediately went to a happy place in which it got to eat a gigantic plate of penne with thick sauce and chunks of sausage. We still had no tomato sauce, so the sauce bit was out, but otherwise: DING DING DING.
Also we had no penne. I will say, however, that today on the way home from work I got a two pound bag of vermicelli and another of frozen baby peas, and everything will be therefore fine and well-stocked forever.
Right. So I used big fabulous corkscrew pasta instead of penne. Then I chopped up a chunk of butter lettuce, hardboiled the egg in the pasta water, and made those into a salad with nice vinegary vinaigrette. Then I served out my huge plate of pasta burl and ate the living hell out of it.
Pasta of ultimate vegetarian muscleosity
nice chunky pasta shapes
lots of garlic
half a big eggplant, or a whole little one (or two)
a couple fake sausage patties
a hot pepper of some stripe
salt, pepper, paprika or cayenne, oregano, basil
other additions: zucchini, maybe artichoke heart, maybe olives
definitely some thick tomato sauce or puree if you have it, which I didn't
This (as I made it, with no tomato) is a basic takeoff on aglio e olio. It will be delicious.
Warm some olive oil in a big sauté pan. Get out a head of garlic, break off half the cloves, smash them with the flat of your knife, and pick off the peels. Chop roughly and deposit in olive oil. Let the garlic cook slowly while you cube your eggplant, mince your hot pepper, and add them as well. Spice with basil, oregano, and paprika.
If your fake sausage is at all like mine, it will come out of the freezer. It will clearly be pretty hard to chop and add in that condition, so put it in the oven or toaster oven and cook on low, maybe 300F, until clearly defrosted and sizzling. You can now pull it out of the oven, cube it up, and add it to your eggplant and garlic. Cook everything together until it becomes a delicious olive oily pungent mass. If you want this to turn into big tomato burl, you should add tomato sauce as well. Salt and pepper and correct any other spices you find necessary.
Also, somewhere around this point you should be putting on your pasta. You can cook an egg with it if you want, too: just look at the clock as you slip the egg into the water, and remember to take it out after nine to ten minutes. Then you can saladize it to your heart's delight.
When pasta is done, drain it. Deglaze the sauté pan with a glug of dry vermouth. Then add the pasta and mix everything together.
You now have pasta burl. If you did the egg and lettuce as well, you have salad burl on the side.
Expect to go to bed nearly immediately afterward.