in defense of noodles

Tonight, I wanted a big ol’ plate of fettucine.

Which is strange, because I really don’t like pasta.  I’m sure by now, you’ve heard all of my rants and raves about how “it’s not the pasta! it’s the sauce!” that makes or breaks an Italian meal.

But over the weekend, Nicole and I had a conversation about how lovely a big bowl of piping hot noodles sauced in butter and fresh parmesan cheese can be.  With this delicious thought lingering in the back of my mind, I realized that maybe I don’t have such a strong distaste for noodles after all.

On my dinner plate, pasta has most often taken the back burner.  In a way, they allow me to indulge my inner Italian (not that I’m Italian, but don’t we all have an inner Italian, somewhere?)   I love slurping up my mom’s homemade red sauce, indulging in a creamy alfredo and enjoying a fresh, summery pesto.  And noodles can soak up the sauce in a way that only a crusty hunk of bread could hope to contend with.

Tonight, however, I felt a different air of respect towards the simple noodle.

A good hair stylist will tell you to work with your hair, not against it.  “Don’t put on so much gunk…appreciate your hair for what it is and let it just be.”  My salonist is a bit of a naturalist when it comes to things like that.  But maybe she’s right.  And maybe, in the same way, fettucine shines the most when it’s not covered up.  Left to its own devices.  Appreciated, just for what it is.

I’m kind of convinced.

Spinach Shrimp Fettucine
Adapted from Taste of Home (8 servings)

  • 1 lb. uncooked whole wheat fettucine
  • 1 package (6 oz.) baby spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook fettucine according to package.  Test for al dente.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute spinach and garlic in oil for 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted.
  2. Add shrimp, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and salt; saute for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Drain fettucine and add to skillet; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheese. 

 Question: Have you ever changed your mind about a food that you previously loved or hated? 


9 thoughts on “in defense of noodles

  1. I used to hate Brussels sprouts, having only eaten them steamed. The mushy factor made me only manage to eat one or two at a time, and I never bought them or prepared them.

    But then I learned about roasting Brussels sprouts, which brought them to a whole new level. I love them. In fact, I bought a big bagful today to roast tomorrow.

  2. I definitely agree – I am certainly guilty of trying to overthink foods…when really, it’s usually the simplest stuff that is the most impressive! Like pasta – I love it tossed in some olive oil, garlic, basil, and fresh tomatoes!

  3. I need to tart eating more foods plain and appreciating them for what they are, i used to hate rice, because it was “boring” but i totally underestimated the power of properly cooked brown basmati rice or sweet jasmine rice!!

  4. Italians are the best in making something special with only a few ingredients. Pasta, butter, parmesan (and some fo the cooking water) make a de-li-cious creamy sauce. Mmm…

  5. I’m usually not a pasta fan at all… Every time I make it, I am so disappointed with the way it turns out. I don’t think I do it right 😛 That looks delectable though, and I am a total sucker for shrimp 🙂

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