Usually, one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is.
– Julia Child, American chef, author, and television personality (1912-2004)
Up until my unexpected vegetarian phase, I was a voracious eater. I remember summer of ’09 when my brother and I visited Korea and would eat a minimum of seven servings of kbbq together, to aunts’ surprise. They thought that our parents were starving us from the way that we ate, but after reassurance from our mom, they realized that we just ate a lot. Sadly, I can no longer eat that much kbbq, no matter how tempting it sounds.
Picky Eater vs. Particular Eater
While I’m no longer a big eater, I’m still a foodie. I love trying food from all sorts of countries, as well as fusion dishes. However, even with these foods, I’m very specific on the manner the food is presented to me. To be clear, I am not a picky eater – I’m a particular eater. In millennial vernacular, my OCD causes my particular eating, though for the record, I was never diagnosed as such.
Picky eats will only eat certain foods, while besmirching others, like vegetables. I love vegetables so much that I’ll eat it without dressing. Particular eaters, however, will eat all sorts of food, but they’re adamant on it being served in a certain manner. As the name refers, food must be in a particular way, almost like a ritual.
For example, I won’t eat spaghetti if the pasta noodles are mixed with marinara sauce, but I will eat it if the pasta noodles and the sauce are in separate bowls, weird I know 🤗. I know this sounds absurd because plain pasta isn’t particularly appealing, but in my head, I have to eat it this way. I know that I have this arrogance inside because I think, “How dare the marinara sauce mix with the pasta without my permission?”
I know that this preference irks my family, though they’ve adjusted to this. They understand that I’m not picky, but it’s that I don’t like the method of preparation. My family, spaghetti lovers, would get frustrated when I wouldn’t eat it, but in hindsight, it’s almost my fault for not being able to express how off-putting mixing the two were.
Other dishes that I approach the same way are ramen, anything on white rice, etc. Ramen noodles and the soup are in separate bowls, and are eaten separately. Kimchi, or food with strong colors, are things that I hate touching my rice because it changes the color.
However, despite this weird preference, I love making new types of pasta dishes and experimenting with pasta noodles to see what kind of cool thing I can concoct from the things I have at home. And while pasta isn’t the healthiest dish out there, I want to share the interesting creations that I have come up with, from the things I have at home.
The Conception (?) Story
My brother and I were scrounging around the kitchen to see if there was anything we wanted to eat. Per usual, we had a ton of pasta noodles, like farfalle (“bowties”), penne, spaghetti, etc. My brother laid claim on the marinara sauce that we had, so I was left to make something out of the things in the kitchen.
Taking inventory of the cabinets and fridge, I was pleasantly surprised to see what I could work with. I was able to pick the ingredients I wanted to use for the spontaneous dish I had in mind.
- 1~2 servings of farfalle pasta, depending on how hungry you are 😬
- ½ cup of sundried tomatoes
- 3 slices of chopped bacon
- ¼ cup of diced onions
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- cooking oil (e.g. vegetable, sunflower, etc. but not olive)
- 1 thin slice of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Dried basil leaves
- Garlic powder
- Garlic & parsley salt
- Parmesan cheese, or 3 Italian cheese blend, depending on your preference
- In a pot, cook the farfalle according to the instructions on the back of the box. This should take around 11 minutes, though you may cook it for a little longer if you like soft pasta.
- Heat a pan and grease it with cooking oil and a thin slice of butter (you don’t need a lot), for flavor. Once the oil moves fluidly on the pan, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and onions, lowering the stove to medium heat.
- Next, add the bacon to the pan. Right before the pasta’s drained, add in the marinara sauce into the pan and mix.
- Add the pasta to the pan, adding various seasonings (i.e. Italian, basil leaves, garlic powder), as you see fit. If it tastes a bit lacking, throw in a little garlic & parsley sauce, though it isn’t necessary.
- Fold in the cheese, on low heat, for a few minutes. Plate it and enjoy!
I know that it went on a rant about marinara sauce in my pasta, but I thought it would add a nice pale red color to the dish. I’m not a certified chef, but food is also about aesthetics, so I would say that I’m pretty proud of myself 🙌🏻.
Oh and before I forget, here are two pictures of my creation.
close up – look at the cheese
the girl who likes to play with her food, literally