Grown Up Instant Noodles

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When I was at college and living in the dorms, my diet consisted mainly of instant noodles.  It’s a rite of passage for any college student, coming to terms with a heavy workload and limited cash.  Oh yeah, and all that laundry and cleaning, the things we were used to having done for us growing up, were yet more chores to add to our dreadful to do list.  Oh, the woes of college life.

Naturally, food took a backseat.  But it doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy what we ate! Meliss brought a little electric stove with a pot with her when we moved in together at Hill Hall at Tufts University.  That little one pot stove served us well, cooking up mainly Nissin ramen which we would buy by the box from Super 88 (seafood, the blue packaging, was my personal favourite).  We had boxes of them piled high and we went through the instant noodles quickly, oh that pot barely got much rest.

Our friend Bev introduced us to instant Mi Goreng which became my new favourite.  And then there were the spicy Korean instant noodle varieties and Japanese yakisoba types as well to add variety to our menu.  While adding an egg to our instant noodles was always a must, we also experimented with things like square cheese to our spicy Korean instant noodles, etc.

Those days are long gone, eating instant ramen is just for emergencies now.  But I still appreciate the concept of cooking everything in one pot.  Just a few things to wash, fewer things to cook, food on the table quickly, it’s a concept attune with my sensibilities in the kitchen.  The MSG and preservatives, however, I outgrew once my bank account exceeded my meager student allowance.

I came across this one pot pasta dish on i am a food blog and decided to modify it to the ingredients I had at home.  It’s grown up instant noodle with pasta!  Oh, what a wonderful revelation.  I don’t have to cook the pasta separately in a pot of boiling water?  And then prepare the sauce in a separate skillet?  That one less pot to use and clean makes all the difference.

You know those nights when you come home exhausted and want a delicious meal immediately?  And you toy between ordering delivery or just succumbing to making a pack of instant noodles?  Well, this changes everything.  Welcome to good food cooked quickly in one pot.  Pasta, mind you, and it’s absolutely delicious.

– SS

Instant Seafood Tagliatelle
Adapted from i am a food blog

What you need:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb small scallops
1/2 lb small shrimp
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 pound tagliatelle, or any pasta of your choice
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup juice)
3/4 cup shelled edamame (or peas) defrosted
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
red pepper flakes, to serve
salt and freshly ground pepper

What to do:

1. Pat the scallops and shrimp dry and season all sides generously with salt and pepper. Heat up a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the scallops and shrimp until scallops are golden brown on both sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and set aside.

2. Add the remaining olive oil to the same pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook stirring, until the garlic is slightly golden, but not brown, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and uncooked pasta. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. 

3. Remove the cover and add the shelled edamame. Simmer to reduce the sauce, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the seafood, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flat leaf parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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