1Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente or according to the package directions. Drain (without rinsing), reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
2Return the pot to the stove over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3Return the pasta to the pot, add half of the reserved pasta water, and stir to coat. Add the remaining pasta water, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed, and stir again. Remove the pot from heat. If you choose, serve the spaghetti topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
Most granola is a fancy twist on toasted oats—consider that when contemplating the exorbitant prices retailers charge for it. The thing is, granola is incredibly easy to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost. This recipe is a granola base to which you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or other tasty bits make you happy. Feel free to tweak this with other spices, a little less honey, more salt—it’s quite forgiving, and customizing your own blend is the fun of making your own. If you want to experiment even further, try using other rolled grains such as spelt or barley and wheat instead of oats.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Basic Chocolate Mousse
Simultaneously rich and light, chocolate mousse just requires a little bit of finesse, and the freshest, best-quality ingredients (eggs, chocolate, and cream) you can procure. Be sure to chill your cream very well and get every speck of water out of the bowl and whisk you'll use for the egg whites, then use a light hand when folding in the whipped cream, and you'll have a perfectly fluffy and decadent dessert.
Basic Napa Cabbage Kimchi
A traditional banchan (Korean side dishes presented as part of a meal), Kimchi is a rich combination of fermented vegetables that can be used as a complement to a variety of recipes.
Significantly lower in carbs and calories than traditional pasta, spaghetti squash serves as a healthier weeknight dinner base. You won't believe how easy it is to cook. Prep-ahead to make dinners and lunches easier and faster throughout the week.
Spaghetti squash is a great lower-calorie, lower-carb alternative to pasta. It makes the perfect comfort food or salad starter, and is a neutral-tasting veggie that absorbs all the flavors of this simple dish.