Recently, I have been trying to be better at being a Grown Up. It’s been going well. I take a packed lunch to work, and I walk to work. I had a break up – a proper one, with crying and re-evaluating your sense of self-worth and all that stuff – and came out the other side. I have conversations about council tax and bank accounts. I am going to go to Ikea for pleasure. I am going to book flights to fly somewhere alone, and I am terrified. I moved house, and I dealt with my old landlord (and will continue to deal with him until he actually definitely puts my deposit repayment cheque in the post). My parents did do some of the moving house for me because I can’t be trusted behind the wheel of a van. But I did source the van. So, I’ve been being a grown up.
Over the last week, though, I have had a cold. I have been snot-nosed and sore throated and ugh. So, I have snuggled beneath my unicorn duvet, read books, watched Adventure Time, eaten breakfast in the middle of the afternoon and been distinctly unadult. It’s been nice. Occasionally, a good wallow, especially over something trivial in the long term like a cold, is a great thing.
But then, work returns, the weekend is done. And you power through, like an adult. Talk about the data, send all the emails, eat a packed lunch. Adult, but with sickness still seeping in.
When I got home I wanted to not be an adult. Get under the unicorn duvet, and watch Adventure Time. So I pulled out the pasta animals. Pasta animals are a storecupboard staple; a good reminder that, really, life is good and ok and you can do whatever you want. I wanted to eat comforting food with cheese on it, so I cooked the pasta animals with a stock cube in the water, and Birds’ Eye frozen peas because those aye-aye captain adverts were staples of 90s TV, and I covered them in cheese.
- 2 cups pasta animals (or any pasta will do)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup chopped asparagus (this is one little pack from Sainsburys, the kind with about 10 stems in)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Do some prep: grate the cheese, cut the aspargus, fill a pan with water, unwrap the stock cube. This will make it all quicker in the long run.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, with more water than the pasta needs. Add the stock cube and stir to dissolve. Consult the packet for how long the pasta will take to cook, as this will help with other timings. The pasta animals, for example, take 7 - 9 minutes. Put the pasta animals into the boiling water and leave them to warm up alone for a while.
- About 4 minutes before the end of your pasta's cooking time, add the asparagus to the pot. It should turn a vibrant green.
- About 1 minute before the end of your pasta's cooking time, ass the frozen peas. They, too, should turn a vibrant green.
- When done, drain the pasta, peas and asparagus, reserving 1 cup full of the water.
- Pop the pasta, peas and asparagus into a big bowl. Add the butter and parmesan and stir to melt Add some of the pasta water back in, a little a time and mixing all the while, until the dish reaches a creamy consistency to your liking. You might not need to use that much of the water.
- Serve in big bowls.