Kansas weather. In need of a good therapy session for most of the year or at the very least, some chocolate and a good glass of wine.
This morning as I reached for my laundry, I stopped a moment to hear the birds chirping on the deck when a familiar and unwelcome sound rang out across the metro area, tornado sirens.
Sigh. Well, more than a just a sigh this time around. I will admit to a skipped heart beat, a panicky search for my cellphone and laptop, and stuffing my feet into tennis shoes without socks on. It is all a part of our tornado preparedness plan… 😉
With all of the terrible destruction from tornadoes lately, my panic level in response to storms is a little more, how shall we say? On edge. I blame the news broadcast last night. There was a segment on seeking shelter in tornadoes where apartments were basically deemed death traps. Great, thanks for that local newscast. So, for part of the morning, I camped out in a lower level apartment stairwell while hearing various reports of tornado touchdowns all around my area. One moment a report would say a tornado was south of my location, then east, then north, then west, then east again. Why can’t mother nature ever make up her mind? Soon enough, the sirens quit and I emerged from my windowless hideout to discover a beautiful sunny, blue-skied day.
And that is the story of most stormy days in Kansas – like a toddler’s temper tantrum – likely to occur suddenly, violently, emotionally and then just as suddenly disappear as if nothing ever happened.
So after all of our excitement today, I decided that dinner would be light, simple, and straight-forward.
The spaghetti we made for dinner is a twist on Spaghetti Aglio e Olio which is a traditional Italian pasta dish. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is usually made with minced or chopped garlic sauteed in olive oil and then mixed in with pasta. To give it a kick there will be crushed red pepper added to the olive oil mixture.
We decided to take the seasoning a little further with freshly chopped parsley to give it a really fresh taste. One of my favorite parts about pasta is that it can be delicious without the need to be complex. This pasta in particular has a very fresh summer taste to it. The seasoning is a simple combination of fresh parsley and garlic infused into olive oil with a little crushed red pepper.
We ended up using fresh angel hair pasta and some parsley straight out of the herb garden growing on our deck. In March we planted a pot with 6 small parsley plants and now they are growing like weeds. So, tonight was a perfect excuse to use a few sprigs that needed a trimming. At least they seem to be enjoying our weather.
So, whether low on ingredients or simply wanting a light summer pasta, this dish is a great choice for a simple and fresh dinner!
- 8 ounces (1/2 package) of spaghetti or other thin pasta
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish option: fresh Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Saute garlic until fragrant (do not burn) and add crushed red pepper and saute for another minute. Remove from heat and toss in freshly chopped parsley. Saute for a minute or two while draining pasta.
- Add pasta to garlic mixture and toss until evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired.
Source: modified from All Recipes Garlic Parsley Spaghetti recipe.
Tornado Survivor Relief Efforts
On a final note, while I recounted the brief scare we had this morning with tornadoes, it is also a reminder that some locations have had some serious damage and destruction from these storms.
One of those in particular, is one of our close neighbors, Joplin, MO. Last weekend, they were hit by one of the most devastating tornadoes in recent history and are now in need of help to rebuild their city. Below I have added some links to organizations who are helping in the efforts to bring relief to the area. Please take some time to consider how you can help, whether it be through prayer, donation, or awareness.
- MO Emergency Relief Efforts: Ways to help tornado victims in Joplin, MO
- Keep updated on relief efforts by joining the Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery Facebook Page
- Salvation Army: Donate to help Survivors of the Joplin Tornado
- Red Cross: Information on ways to to help Survivors
- Like pets? They need some help taking care of them too: Help Pets after Joplin Tornado