I’m standing by the kitchen counter, fresh produce from this morning’s run to the market laying in front of me. There are just a few ingredients: two packs of brown and white portobello mushrooms; a head of garlic; and a bunch of fresh parsley whose fragrance I simply adore.
I’ve got my favorite pair of army green pants on, along with a thin black sweater because it’s still slightly cold. The sky is cloudy outside, and the atmosphere thick with humidity.
It doesn’t matter that it’s not sunny spring weather. All that matters is that I’m at home and happy to indulge in my favorite activity: cooking.
It took me some time to figure it out, but a bit of analysis and thought has led me to this conclusion – the reason why I’m so drawn to cooking is because it’s the epitome of making something out of nothing.
The kitchen is like the chemistry lab where we can experiment and transform simple ingredients into an outcome that is far greater than the sum of their individual parts.
A few examples come to my mind immediately: whipping egg whites and sugar to get sweet meringue; or melting cocoa butter and then mixing it with cocoa powder and honey to make chocolate; or kneading flour, salt, and water to get a sourdough starter which you eventually use to make a loaf of homemade bread.
I’m aware that there is immense power in cooking if you know how to channel it in the right way. In fact, I never stop being amazed by how combining a few humble ingredients can create a meal so delicious and satisfying.
Think about it this way – raw ingredients go through a process of transformation as we cook them, and they eventually become food that nourishes our bodies and souls.
Cooking is fundamental to our survival, and the results of cooking sustain us in this journey called life.
You see, I believe that all of us should cook more often.
However, I understand that most of us tend to get put off by recipes that involve long ingredient lists and require deep pockets.
If we only realized how little time and effort we actually need to spend on making a homecooked meal, I’m certain that we would spend more time in the kitchen instead of eating out or ordering delivery.
Most of the recipes that I’ve come to love and cook on a weekly basis tend to be simple ones. I’m not much of a gourmet cook; in fact, my taste buds and cooking style gravitate towards recipes that are easy to follow with just a handful of ingredients.
I know that as long as I can get my hands on the best quality ingredients I can afford, the food that I make will taste good and provide me with the nutrients that I need.
One of my favorite dishes is this mushroom spaghetti aglio olio, which when translated from Italian really means mushroom, spaghetti, garlic, and olive oil.
I love the fact that most of the ingredients you need for this dish are in its name, and it’s so easy and quick that you can make it in 40 minutes flat.
It’s a simple recipe that produces a gluten-free and vegan meal bursting with flavor and taste.
Fragrant garlic and sautéed portobello mushrooms combine to add oomph to the pasta, and a shake of salt and freshly ground pepper spice it up a little.
For a touch of freshness and a pop of color, I also like to sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley just before serving.
Dinner has never been so easy and delicious.
Here’s how you can make it today.
Start off by heating up a large skillet over medium heat and sautéing the sliced portobello mushrooms in a little olive oil.
Be patient and let the mushrooms cook until they are golden brown on both sides, before adding the minced garlic, then stir-frying it for a few minutes until beautifully fragrant.
While the mushrooms and garlic are cooking, bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil, before adding the gluten-free spaghetti and cooking it according to the package instructions.
Once the pasta is ready, drain it of all the liquid and toss the cooked spaghetti in the skillet along with the sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Mix them all together until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, before serving it garnished with fresh parsley.
- 1 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- ½ pound gluten-free spaghetti (or normal spaghetti if you're not gluten-free)
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnishing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the sliced portobello mushrooms in a little oil, until they are cooked and golden brown on both sides.
- When mushrooms are done, add in minced garlic and stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
- In the meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil.
- Once the water starts boiling, add the spaghetti and cook it according to the package instructions.
- Drain cooked spaghetti of any liquid, and toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauteed mushrooms and garlic. Mix well until ingredients are all evenly distributed.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide spaghetti evenly between 2 bowls and top with fresh chopped parsley before serving.