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Third Date Linguine

Quick And Easy 56
Mushroom Pasta

The Scenario:


Everybody knows how the third date is meant to end, which means that you can’t go slapping just any old thing down on the plate in front of your soon to be significant other. Fun fact that I learned from terrifying experience, you also shouldn’t have anything to eat that is too greasy because any oil left on your hands can make a condom dissolve into thin air. Yeah, that was an evening.


So what can you cook, as a fairly transparent excuse to get your lover of choice into your apartment? If it is too light, you end up hungry and short on energy at an inopportune moment later in the evening. If it is too heavy your romantic mood is somewhat spoiled by your inability to lift your lazy backsides back up off the sofa. Something in the middle, something with lots of carbs to give you energy, nothing spicy in case you happen to be kissing something sensitive, a sauce that isn’t so overpowering that you can smell it on each other’s breath… planning this meal out is getting to be a lot more effort than expected. Don’t worry man, we’ve got a plan for you.


A light, summery pasta dish that you can cook easily, that will make you look vaguely sophisticated and will fulfil all your other special needs for the evening.

What You Need:


A stovetop

A big spoon

A big pot

A small pot

A sharp knife

A chopping board

A strainer

Ingredients to Serve 2:


A jar of wild mushroom antipasti, drained of all oil but not rinsed.

A tin of chopped tomatoes

Olive Oil

Dried Linguine, remember, it doubles in size, so don’t use too much.

Minced Garlic

Parmesan Cheese

Parsley

Basil

Oregano


Optional extras:

This is one of those few rare pasta dishes that actually works best with a rose wine rather than a red or white, try to grab something fruity as it will provide a nice counterpoint to the earthier flavours of the wild mushrooms. Also it only barely tastes alcoholic so you and your date can skip straight to sloppy smooching after the meal if all goes well.

If you are both big eaters, or you have had a busy day

How To Do It:


1. Slam your big pot and your little pot on the stovetop and turn the heat up to full.


2. Fill the big pot with salted water and put a dash of olive oil into your little pot.


3. Once the water is boiling, add your linguine. Don’t take your eyes off that linguine until it is out of the water. Check on it constantly. People who serve overcooked linguine go to a special circle of hell. Seriously though, don’t do it, linguine gets slimy when it is overcooked. That doesn’t bode well for your chances of getting lucky.


4. While simultaneously paying attention to your pasta, put a spoonful of garlic into the olive oil and get it moving around so it golden without burning.


5. Once it had turned gold, add your mushrooms and keep them moving around too.


6. After about a minute, add the tin of tomatoes and a shake of each of your herbs, then stir everything together.


7. Drop the heat to low and leave your sauce to simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.


8. During those ten minutes, if not before, your linguine will reach the point of perfection and a single moment more will turn it into some weird Italian jellyfish. Get it off the heat, drain it and then toss it back into the pot it came from.


9. After your sauce has simmered and thickened, pour it over the reasonable portion of linguine in the big pot and stir it through. Sprinkle on a little more parsley and some parmesan to taste.

After you have served out this lovely meal, drunk a bottle of lovely wine in very good company and acted like a perfect gentleman the entire time, please take a moment to wash your hands with some hot soapy water, just in case you happen to have touched the olive oil while you were cooking. I swear that one night took about a year off my life in stress alone.

G D Penman writes books. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continues on his quest to eat the flesh of every living species. He has worked in just about every job you can have in a restaurant and now he is here to yell at you for using a microwave when there is a perfectly good oven right there.

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