Adrienne Wolter shares local restaurant reviews, day trips and cooking adventures
Ah, another night with little to scrounge up in your refrigerator. With a "ho, hum," you shift to autopilot and reach in your cabinet for your staple go-to...spaghetti. What? It's easy to store and like a trust-worthy friend, it's always there for you. However, there's one problem: your taste buds are not dancing for joy. Your traditional spaghetti with sauce (and hark, the chance of meat) is becoming old news.
Sure, you've tried entertaining the Lady and the Tramp meatballs and meeting your significant other at the other end of the noodle. Face it, that didn't go over well. You've tried to be creative with your ingredients, but you've discovered like Will Ferrell in Elf, candy, maple syrup and pop tarts is something you shouldn't even consider. You're at a loss and need some inspiration to bring that spark back into your complicated spaghetti relationship.
The help you need is out there. The guidance and creativity is now at your fingertips. So, instead of fretting about your butter and cheese spaghetti concoction turning into something that resembles prestressed concrete, try one of these 7 excellent recipes for a little spice to your favorite go-to meal. Trust me, these dishes are far from bland land.
Are you a big fan of tomato basil and mozzarella appetizer? Well, you're in luck. You can enjoy your Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella on a bed of pasta. For a fresh approach to spaghetti, serve it cold and take it to a fun get-together or enjoy in the comforts of your home. This dish gives you the opportunity to savor class and up-scale cooking on a dime. Add some fresh basil to your salad to tie your concoction together. Careful, there won't be much to take home for leftovers.
Not a fan of breaking from tradition? This Eggplant-Tomato Sauce recipe puts a little spin on your typical spaghetti and sauce dish. Perfect for the vegetarian or health-conscious eater, it contains all the flavor sans the calories. With the protein of eggplant, you will be full and satisfied while your taste buds will go on a wild ride. You pick the pasta; let the sauce speak for itself.
Feeling a little brave and confident about your cooking skills? The truth is, you don't have to be a master chef to recreate this wonder. Taken off of what sounds like a 5-star Italian restaurant menu, the Lemon Artichoke Pesto is a real treat. Whether you have a can of artichokes stored in your cabinet waiting to become an appetizer dip or you like them fresh, try making a delicious pesto and add these lovely hearts. Add chicken or even a light white fish to add even more zing to that lemon.
Summer is here and your palette is dying for some flavorful tastes that reflect relaxation and sunshine. What better recipe than Salmon with Tequila Cream Sauce? You can grill up some happiness with a soft, pink filet of salmon. Then, as all great summer drinks, dress up your dish with some lime and tequila. You can't go wrong with this cream sauce. Impress your friends with this beautiful meal and enjoy it outside on the patio. Go ahead, add tequila to that margarita too. After all, it is summer.
Maybe you'd like to stray from the Italian-inspired flavors and have a bunch of stray leftovers you have no idea how to get rid of efficiently. Look no further than Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Veggies. Let's be honest, there's always chicken either in your refrigerator or freezer waiting to be dressed up. Take any leftover veggies and fry them up together for this tasteful conglomeration of yum. You'll be craving for the next time you have random veggies lying in your refrigerator.
Now, for something completely different. A culinary concoction straight from Cincinnati,Cincinnati Chili is a dish that will definitely turn heads. You like noodles, right? Oh, and of course, you enjoy chili, correct? Put them together with a pile of cheese on top and what do you have? That's right, a dish that will surely please your taste buds. Want to know a secret? Adding cocoa to your chili is to die for. Sounds strange, but take it from me, it's worth the experiment!
Do you have tons of leftover pasta from the night before? Don't let it go to waste. Enjoy this Rachel Ray recipe cleverly called Cowboy Spaghetti. Turn your excess spaghetti and other ingredients like veggies and cheese into a lovely Tex-Mex creation. With ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and a half-can of beer, this is something worth trying. Add your favorite fixin's and you'll be shouting "yee-haw!"
Since spaghetti is bland in flavor, it gives you the chance to get wild and creative with your dishes. Personally, I wouldn't suggest dropping random candy and sugar into your dish, but who am I kidding? It may be a fun activity for a kid's sleepover. Just make sure they're not bouncing off the walls. The point is, why not have fun with your box of spaghetti? It's an inexpensive luxury that you have the power to create something wonderful. So, get out there, you culinary god or goddess, and do your thing!