No, it's not green eggs and ham. This is perhaps even better. Te story goes that yesrs ago (more than fifty), my brother was courting the woman who became his first wife. She had promised to cook him dinner but had no money for groceries, so she used what she had on hand, melting butter in the skillet, adding cooked spaghetti and lots of lemon juice. Over the years, I “improved” on the idea.
First, I substituted spinach fettucine for the spaghetti. Then I added scallions and mushrooms. Next inspiration was to add chopped artichoke hearts. Finally, when I had lots of basil, made my own pesto, and froze it in an ice cube tray, I began to add a cube of pesto. I always topped the whole thing with freshly grated Parmesan although these days I prefer Pecorino.
I frequently served this to my children as they were growing up. It was a family favorite that they called “green noodles.” Megan, always weight conscious, used to complain I used too much butter, but I like it that way.
The beauty of it is that it’s still good without any one of my additions, if you have butter and lemon. I often make a single serving for myself.
1 16-0z. pkg. spinach egg noodles or fettucine
1 stick butter
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (I always buy whole and slice them myself)
4 scallions, chopped
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
1 ice-cube of pesto, thawed (about a generous Tbsp)
Juice of one lemon
Grated fresh Parmesan or Pecorino
Cook and drain noodles. Melt butter in the skillet. Sauté the mushrooms and scallions in the butter. Add lemon juice to taste—I like lots; the mushrooms soak up the lemon and are delicious. Add artichoke and pesto and stir to incorporate. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with cheese
Jamie’s wife, Melanie, did a slightly different version for her daughters, Maddie and Edie, both of whom at a very young age loved sour things like pickles and capers. Mel cooked angel hair pasta and buttered it liberally; then she added lemon juice and capers. I watched in amazement as she dumped in capers out of the jar, not bothering to drain them (as I always do, with some difficulty). “Oh, yeah,” she said, “the juice adds a really good taste.” I tried it, and she’s right.
Makes a good and quick meatless meal.