PRE-DEPARTURE MICROWAVE MADNESS

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Despite the level of embarrassment that I’m sure will hit me the moment I get back from Paradise (Tuesday!), I still decided to send this truth out there.  The truth that once in a while, on some particular full-moons and/or… the night before a long trip away from home, there’s absolutely no excuse for my primitive behavior.  And if that’s the kind of entertainment that delights you, here it goes.

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The night before we left for our vacation, I gathered all the usual suspects that an exhausted kitchen would hold… spaghetti, sausages, cheese, milk and butter, plus a few sprigs of herbs, and made dinner entirely out of… the microwave.  Spit away but there’s no amount of scolding you could transmit through your screens right now that’s more than what I already told myself.  Believe me, I self-loathed.  But look, not that any ingredients were any different than if it were cooked on stove-top.  And it did save me a sink-ful of dishes to wash (a two-bowls dinner, really) and time for other much needed chores before departure.  Disturbing to say, I was even secretly surprised by the legitimacy of melty deliciousness a microwave can pull off… but you see, the entire purpose of my snobbish existence just cannot get behind this idea… not officially at least.  So hey, just so you know, officially… I disagree with this.

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Makes:  2 small servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup (180 grams) of spaghetti, broken into short segments
  • 1 1/2 cup (355 grams) of water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup (240 gram)of half and half
  • 1/8 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 heaping cup (45 grams/1.6 oz) of shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2 heaping cup (45 grams/1.6 oz) of shredded sharp cheddar, plus more for topping
  • 1/3 cup (20 grams/0.7 oz) of grated Parmigiano cheese, plus more for topping
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4.2 oz (120 grams) of sweet Italian sausage meat
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp of unsalted butter

Break the spaghetti up into short segments with your hands into a microwave-proof bowl.  Add water and salt, then stir to combine.  Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 4 min, then stir again with a fork.  Cover and microwave on high again for 3 ~ 4 min (depending on the thickness of the spaghetti) until the pasta is al-dente and the water’s mostly absorbed.  Add the half and half, grated nutmeg, shredded fontina and cheddar, and grated Parmigiano cheese.  Mix evenly and season with salt and black pepper.  Set aside.

Divide the Italian sausage, minced garlic, fresh thyme and unsalted butter into 2 mugs.  Use a fork to mix them slightly, then microwave on high for 1 min.  Break up the sausage meat with a fork (which shouldn’t be completely cooked yet) and return to the microwave for another 1:30 min.  Divide the spaghetti and cheese mixture into the mugs and mix with the sausage on the bottom.  Top with more shredded cheddar, Parmigiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper.  Microwave on high for another 3:30 min until hot and bubbly (you might want to place a sheet of parchment on the bottom in case it over-spills).

Serve immediately.

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