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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19 Comments

    • Samie, you won’t be able to cook spaghetti in the oven. So you can cook the spaghetti on stove-top first, then bake everything else in the oven in the same steps. Although I haven’t done that so I’m guessing the time and temperature may have be to adjusted as well.

    • this was great – i’ve made several versions of it and cooking the spaghetti in the mic went just fine. i’m just curious – is there a reason so many said not to try it.

  • When my brother first moved out to go to university, he phoned to ask if he could cook spaghetti in a microwave. I said dubiously: “I guess so, I don’t see why not.” So he threw a handful of spaghetti in the microwave…

    Yeah, they had to clear his floor at residence….

  • I don’t have a microwave and this must the be 1st time ever I’ve ever desired one. But I’ll resist, cook the pasta first and put in the oven! You got it spot on with the gooey cheesy mess, can only be yummy.

  • This looks seriously good for a midnight snack or a Saturday night home-alone dinner. I will oil the inside of the cup and a bit of the outside so that it will be easier to wash later.

  • Thanks for sharing. It just occurred to me that I could make several ahead and either take for lunch or pop in the microwave when I get home late. Sure beats those Styrofoam cups of mac and cheese
    (not that I ever make those nasty things. I can make a pot of it for the price of one!

  • Why spaghetti? I’m going to try this, but with yellow cornmeal in place of the pasta. I think this is a brilliant way to make grits or creamy polenta! With spaghetti? NO thanks.

  • My 16 year old and my husband loved it. The only thing I added was mini meatballs that I made. Great quick meal. Easy cleanup was the bonus.

  • Made this for my son tonight and he lovedddddddd it!! Thank you for this quick and easy go to mean for us serious pasta lovers. What made even more perfect is i just happen to have the ingredients already.

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