cutesy jingles

This meatless Monday thing, I’m getting the hang of it.


Don doesn’t like the idea of meatless Mondays (Boys. They like meat). Even worse for him is that Tuesdays end up being meatless, or at least pescatarian, because we do Taco Tuesdays at Rubio’s and eat nothing but fried fish tacos (Tuesdays are also Teatime Tuesdays, and I lay off on the coffee). Wednesdays, I don’t have any cutesy jingles for, so dinnertime finally returns to the usual routine.

But! This Wednesday ended up being meatless too, because we were too drained from working out in the AC-less exercise room that our apartment complex has. At times of post-workout blahs, a heavy meal doesn’t sound too great. Nor does complex cooking. There’s always that Del Taco, or the Carl’s Jr. down the street, but that would defeat the whole purpose of our sweaty, uncomfortable workout.
So on days like this, I turn to an old recipe and tweak it a little.

This is a tweak on the lemon garlic gnocchi that I posted a long time ago. Now that I look back at it, it’s pretty much the same as the original Giada recipe that I ninja’d from. Well, almost. Mine’s a bit different because I pan fried the garlic – I didn’t want to smell like a vampire killer after dinner, so I nixed the raw chopped garlic. And I added some pine nuts because I felt bad for the guy and thought, hell, nuts have protein in it, right? Right.

Everything is eyeballed because this is one of those lazy day recipes, but you get the gist of it. Here goes:

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti – serves 2

4 oz dry spaghetti
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp pine nuts
5-6 basil leaves, chiffonaded

First, start your garlic oil. Pour in olive oil and chopped up garlic into a small frying pan and let it cook over low, until the garlic starts to brown on edges. Immediately remove from heat and reserve.
While that’s starting up, boil up some spaghetti.

Chiffonade some basil leaves. Here I have pathetically limpy basil leaves, but fresh is, as usual, the best.

Then you take some cheese…

Some pine nuts…

And dump it into a large bowl, with the garlic oil, garlic chunks and all. Squeeze in lemon juice. Throw in the spaghetti and toss until well combined. Plate, crack some black pepper on it, and nom.

We paired it with some South African wine, which are always sulfuric and headache inducing (at least to me)*. But I couldn’t resist picking up the damn bottle at Trader Joes, because the label features a SECRETARY BIRD** for chrissakes. That tickles my fancy.

* begin rant/ Okay, so since so many of you guys are outraged by my South-African-wine-is-sulfuric comment, I will note that this was a 6 dollar bottle from TJs. I do understand that there are better wines out there, but you have to understand that I purchased this bottle because I liked the etiquette label, not for the quality. And I do find that South African wines tend to be sulfuric, if not mineral-y. Some people love that, but I don’t. So shut up and quit bugging me about it. /end rant

**In case you don’t know what a secretary bird is, it is an epic-looking bird of prey. It stomps its prey to death with stiletto like talons. I would love to have one of these in my front yard to chase away those pesky magazine sellers.

secretary bird

(image from Wikipedia)

{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Jenny May 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    This looks awesome and I plan to make it forthwith, blah blah…

    But really, I’m mainly commenting to say I need a secretary bird. Like, yesterday. How did I not know these existed?

  • Brianna June 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I doubled this recipe and used ReaLemon instead of squeezing the lemon myself. I found the sauce a bit too lemony for my taste. Other than that the idea is spot on! I paired it with grilled chicken and green beans. Haha now my throat hurts from all the acid in the lemon!

    Being only 14 years old and hadn’t ever cooked without help before, this was an incredibly easy recipe and I will be making it again (with a little less lemon juice:)).

  • Linda June 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Tried the recipe tonight. Didn’t have fresh basil, which definitely would have helped. Didn’t have pine nuts so used toasted sesame. That worked pretty well. And I should have added more lemon than it called for. But it was satisfying and quick and easy. Thanks.

  • Penelope June 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    This is one of those great recipes that makes me salivate just reading it. Plus, it’s quick and easy–my kind of cooking.

    Can’t wait to try it and–with your permission and giving you credit–pass it on to my fans.

  • Danielle June 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I made this tonight & it was DELICIOUS! I made a few changes to fit what we had on hand to fit our taste buds, but we will be making it again. I boiled the noodles & then warmed the oil & garlic in a pan. I put a few shakes of dried basil in a large bowl with juice of a whole lemon, some lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt, cracked black pepper, italian seasoning, & some ms dash garlic & herb seasoning & mixed my garlic oil on top. I tossed the spaghetti in 2 tbsp of butter before I threw it in the mixture & sprinkled some parm cheese on top (I doubled the amount of noodles also). Love love loved it! :)

  • violet June 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I picked up your recipe from my sister’s Pin Board. But even more than the joy from the aha moment it gave (finally, something even I can cook!), I really had fun reading your blog (silent laughter, belly-shaking kind of fun). Henceforth, I know I will seriously look at any information related to the Secretary Bird with interest – except when it is pasted onto a south african wine bottle. I’ll take Chilean wine anytime.

  • ashley July 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

    great recipes

  • Cindy July 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    This was absolutely delicious and so easy. I doubled the garlic and lemon as other reviewers. My husband said it was the best pasta he has ever had!! Thank you for posting this recipe!

  • missmylin August 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a great and simple recipe. I pinned this quite a while ago and am just getting around to trying it out. Now that I’m pleasantly full, I’m going to wander around your blog without (hopefully) getting hungry again!

  • Alberto October 14, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Very good pasta! …and a very nice website!
    (I would like to have a “secretary bird” too…).
    Thank you!!!

  • Meri October 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks so much for the delicious (and easy to prep) dinner inspiration! The pine nuts are something I’d never thought to use with pasta but I love the added texture. Shared your deliciousness with my readers here:

  • Ashley October 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for a great recipe! We do meatless Mondays, taco Tuesdays (which is anything Mexican food) and wheat less Wednesday. Your lemon spaghetti is on tonight’s menu with parsley instead of basil. Yummy!!!

  • Emily : October 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    This past was delicious and so quick! My family and I loved it so much that I featured it on my latest weekly meal plan at Thank you!

  • Kat February 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I made this tonight with a slight variation. I added shrimp and I toasted the pine nuts. Bomb! I also added extra fresh garlic. The hubbs and the kids ate several bowls and faught for more…success! Will add this to the dinner repertoire for sure!

  • Louise March 1, 2013 at 3:47 am

    I love a recipe with few simple ingredients they’re usally the best ones.
    Thank you for sharing this little wonder.

  • Kelly March 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I have made this twice… Using dried basil both times because I rarely have fresh herbs. I love it! Hubby loves the flavor but he likes his pasta with more sauce. He likes everything to be very saucy in fact, lol. Wondering if anyone had tried adding a bit of cream or something to make it a but more saucy? Of course I like it just as is, he’s so picky :/

  • Arty April 27, 2013 at 5:59 am

    This looks good and easy. A must try!

  • Callie April 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Tried it tonight exactly as is and loved it! Will definitely make again, with some different variations. Thanks! :)

  • Bronwen May 2, 2013 at 6:52 am

    The gives u a headache cause it’s what we refer to as plonk …. Cheap ass wine. Get some good stuff and walaaaa no headache

  • Laurie May 10, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Had it for dinner last Saturday. Very good! Served it with some steamed mussels and red wine. I had limited time due to Hockey game coming on so it was a quick, delicious meal!!

  • eileen June 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

    oh my this is good! I didn’t have pine nuts, used toasted walnuts chopped, worked well. I also added some lemon zest. I want to try this again with some goat cheese tossed in while pasta and “sauce” are still hot. Love the wine bottle. :)!

  • Linda August 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I am making this right now. I found this recipe yesterday, so when I went grocery shopping I purchased the ingredients. I just hope that my husband will like it. If not, more for me. Ha! Ha!

  • Lin January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I am such a fan of spaghetti when it does NOT have red sauce on it! This looks so amazing. Have you ever added capers to it? Will be making this. MMMmmm…

  • Marsha January 17, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Love comments and will make spaghetti tonight. Thank you! Marsha

  • Kathy January 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Do those birds attack moles? If so, we need at least two of them. Your pasta sounds great and the vegetarians are visiting this weekend so it will probably be on the menu. Thanks for posting it.

  • Carlee April 2, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    We have just finished this easy meal. I also added thinly sliced braised chicken and baby spinach. Thanks so versatile & yummy. NZ

  • Cuore di tenebra. Ediz. integrale May 4, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Hi, I read your blog oon a regular basis. Yourr story-telling style is awesome, keep iit

  • val July 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I call BS on cheapass comment. My hubby always buys the good stuff (ok, 30 buck good stuff which is good in our opinion)….but after hitting north of 45, I simply couldnt drink reds anymore without getting headaches…of course, nothing a good margarita can’t cure…or white wine.
    as for the pasta, making it tonite…looks great!

  • winkie July 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Loved the recipe and the Secretary bird– saw them while in Australia visiting from MD, USA!

  • Dani August 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I don’t have garlic, could I use garlic powder and lemon JUICE not lemon? Our should I just so being lazy and go to the store

  • ila August 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Dani,

    In my opinion, being lazy always translates to subpar quality. -ila

  • Lisa McDonnell February 7, 2015 at 9:43 am

    its not the cheap wine comment that bothers me but more so the lack of respect for those of us who love Jesus


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