Pasta for the Culinary Challenged


Those of you who know me or who also are culinary challenged will get a little chuckle at my posting anything cooking related.  But hey, remember AK Atelier is all about blurred lines, which means even I can cross over from the dark side of the kitchen to the light where all you talented chefs hangout.  My family was out of town, so on a whim I decided that I would try to create a meal out of what was currently in my pantry and fridge.  If it was bad, I wouldn’t have to feed it to anyone else, and my fragile little chef-ego would remain intact.  Well, guess what?  It actually turned out to be quite tasty.

I know, it’s a damn miracle.  

Anyway, I am sharing my novice Italian-inspired recipe here in the event there are others out there looking for a little self esteem boost when they walk into what is definitely the most fear inspiring room in my house….the kitchen.


  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 handfuls of fresh tomatoes. I had a bunch of mixed little yellow and red cherry tomatoes and 2 small heirlooms on hand that were on their last leg
  • Fresh basil (well, close to fresh)
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • Olive oil
  • Linguini. Healthwise, I should have used whole grain but had to go with what was on hand.
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

What I Did

First I poured a glass of red wine….for me, not for the recipe.  Needed a little liquid courage in this endeavor.  Next I sliced the garlic cloves in very thin slices.  Then I sliced the onion and chopped the tomatoes.  I wiped off the basil with a damp paper towel and used scissors to cut it in pieces. I filled the pasta pot with water so it would be ready to go.  Then I dumped some olive oil in my other pan and heated it on about medium, added the garlic and onion and stirred it around a little while sipping on my wine.  When the onions were getting soft, I added the chopped tomatoes and stirred them around a little.  It was starting to smell good, so I put the pasta on to boil. Sip sip, stir stir.  I remembered the red pepper flakes which were probably supposed to go in earlier, so I added them and then the basil.  Added a touch more of olive oil and played around with it a bit until the linguini was ready.  Next I drained the linguini, tasted my sautéed concoction and was pretty pleased with myself.  Sip, sip.  I added a little salt and pepper and more red pepper flakes and decided I had better quit while I was ahead.  Pulled out a plate and put the linguini on it, topped it with my vegetable mixture, added some shredded parmesan, and my masterpiece was complete. Lastly (and most importantly I might add) I topped off my wine, poured a glass of water and sat down to my meal.  This last minute supper is now a keeper in my fledgling recipe box and should be in yours too!

Future Goals

  • Slowly start to fill sad little recipe box with more easy meals.
  • Make sure all meals I attempt are healthful.
  • Share any culinary successes with you!

Give this one a try, post your results and tag @anna.kemper.atelier!  Or please comment below with any easy recipes you may have for the culinary challenged!    XO…Anna               

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