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My Thursday Thing: “10 Minute Prep” Spaghetti

Got home at 5pm tonight. Just in time to watch my four year old boy while my wife took my girls to their after school activities. Appointment with a landscaper at 6:30pm and the first playoff hockey game for my Carolina Hurricanes in a decade. Dinner for the two of us had to be super fast. I was informed he wanted spaghetti for dinner. Nothing new, the boy LIVES on noodles. So I grabbed a big pot, filled it with water and cranked up the burner. Spaghetti for two in progress.

For my son, a little parmesan cheese, or as we call it around here "shaky cheese" and he's good to go. For me, not so much. I had about 10 minutes to figure out and prep what I was going to do with my spaghetti. Time to raid the fridge, freezer and pantry. I find a virtual treasure trove of goodies to make a super quick and delicious Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil).

In the freezer, I find frozen artichokes. A quick rinse with cold water and then into the microwave with a splash of water for two minutes. In the fridge, a jar of capers will provide some great brininess and some fresh parmesan cheese which I quickly grate up. In the pantry, a few remaining sliced sun-dried tomatoes, which I add to the artichokes in the final 30 seconds in the microwave to wake them up. In the drawer, some crushed red pepper flakes for heat. And I grab two cloves of garlic from the counter, peel and slice thinly. Prep is 100% done, and the water isn't even boiling yet!

Water's boiling, spaghetti is in, and 8 minutes later, spaghetti is out. Time to pull it all together. I take out my son's portion, shake on that cheese and leave it to cool. Pot's back on the stove with a swig of olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

60 seconds later, in goes the artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes.

A quick toss, then the spaghetti and capers, followed by the cheese.

On to the plate and topped with a drizzle of lemon olive oil I picked up during the family summer vacation to Maine last year. A heaping pile of goodness, and within 5 minutes, a licked-clean plate.

Good eats in record time. From first thought of dinner to last dish washed in under one hour. Now that's what I call fast food.

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