A perfect Slow + Simple supper for a Monday or any night

Jessica Gordon Ryan/The Entertaining House
When it comes to preparing food I often think less is more. Therefore sometimes the simplest of dishes are the tastiest of dishes. There are admittedly plenty of times when I want to play around in my kitchen - when my kitchen looks more like a scientist's laboratory than a kitchen. And there are those nights when I just need to get something into our bellies without any effort at all... without sacrificing taste. I'm not really a pre-packaged food kind of girl. I like simple, fresh, easy and quick. I especially like this when little people who are particularly hungry keep nipping at my heels and begging "feed me now!"

This was the dinner I served on Saturday. My quick answer to feed hungry bellies when I really had no desire to be slaving over the stove for hours. And truth be told, old Mother Hubbard's cupboards were bare. There are a few things I am rarely without in my home. I am never without pasta - many boxes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I am never without lemons. I am never without olive oil and almost never without Parmesan. These are necessary staples. And tossed together they make the most amazing pasta!

I have a roasted garlic infused extra virgin olive oil that I keep on hand as well. To make this is simple. Take 6 - 10 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil and place together in a saucepan and turn the heat up. When the oil starts to get hot, turn the heat down to medium heat and let the garlic brown so it's nice and golden, 5 minutes or so. Let the oil cool and transfer to a glass jar. I love Bonne Mamman jam jars and reuse them for many things. They're perfect for salad dressings and flavored oils. Spread some of this oil over a halved loaf of good Italian bread for an amazing garlic bread, or dip any good crusty bread into it... I also like to use it on pasta.

After you've cooked your box of pasta per directions on the box, drain the pasta, then transfer back into the pot. Add enough olive oil so that all the pasta is covered, maybe 4 tablespoons or more if you desire. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon - add zest too if you desire, and mix well. Then add in some grated or shredded Parmesan cheese. Add as much or as little as you want. Start out with 1/4 Cup and add as much as a half of a cup if you wish. Add a couple of large cloves of well chopped fresh garlic and toss well. Add sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste, and top with some freshly grated Parmesan. You'll be amazed at just how amazing this simple dish tastes. This blows any mac and cheese out of the water. And it's healthier, much! We devoured every bite. This also makes a wonderful side dish, whether with salmon, chicken or steak. But I just prefer it by itself. Right out of the bowl. It's my idea of comfort food. Slow and simple, but quick and easy to make!

Ingredients for the pasta:
Juice of 1 lemon, zest optional
2-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4+ tbs extra virgin olive oil (or garlic infused olive oil)
1/4 - 1/2 cup of grated or shredded Parmesan
Sea Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Ingredients for the garlic oil:
6-10 cloves of garlic, peeled, whole
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Jessica Gordon Ryan/The Entertaining House
Buon Appetito!