Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn and Alison's Spicy Spaghetti

“Gratitudes” – September 23, 2013

 Today I’m grateful for:

  1. It’s officially fall!
  2. Waking up earlier so that I could go for a walk before starting my day
  3. Deep belly breaths in the crisp fall air
  4. Taking time to do 10min of yoga stretching in the living room
  5. Arthur’s inspirational video 
  6. All of the happy little sparrows that I saw today
  7. 99 cent cauliflower
  8. Having homemade soup in the freezer
  9. Cooking grains with veggie broth
  10. This beautiful story of friendship – dog and cat
    Every day - at the same time - she waits for him. Sometimes she barks to call him. He comes; they rub and greet each other and they go for a walk. They have done this for 5 years and no, they don’t belong to the same owners. The owners didn’t know until neighbors seeing them together so frequently commented to the cat’s owner, who then followed the dog home which was a distance away - not in a house close or next door. How it started no one knows.
  11. Having enough time to not feel in a rush
  12. Learning something new
  13. Keeping an open mind
  14. Exercising my social skills
  15. We watched Trekkies last night tonight!
  16. Getting out of the house for awhile yesterday so that I could enjoy coming home
  17. Realizing I had enough fruit in the morning to make a smoothie
  18. Avocado sandwich
    (Ezekiel toast, smooshed avocado, sweet onion, tomato, basil, chives, sea salt, black sesame seeds.)
  19. My Grandpa’s 95th birthday!
  20. My sister’s birthday! (Happy Birthday, Ali!!! :)
  21. Having a nice chat with my sister this morning
  22. Receiving a nice thank you note
  23. Taking a nap because I really felt like it
  24. How a bed that’s made always seems more comfortable to climb into than one that is not
  25. Jasper cat cuddles in the afternoon
  26. Being able to walk up stairs (there was a time when I couldn’t. I’m so thankful that now I can.)
  27. Being able to stand and cook in the kitchen
  28. A nice email from one of my favourite friends
  29. Spaghetti
  30. Kalamata olives
My sister and I used to spend Thursday nights together, cooking, laughing and watching Hell’s Kitchen (in particular Season 6, which in my opinion is the best one.)  In honour of her birthday I’m making a spaghetti dish that she created on one of those nights out of random ingredients from my fridge. I call it Alison’s Spicy Spaghetti and it has become my favourite pasta recipe. I love that I generally have all of the ingredients on hand and that it always tastes great. If you like olives and hot sauce this one is for you!

Alison’s Spicy Spaghetti  

1 tbls olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (less or more to taste)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Handful of cremini mushrooms, chopped
Handful of kalamata olives, sliced
Hot sauce to taste (depends on the hot sauce you’re using and how spicy you like it. This time I used  2 tablespoons of Frank’s Red Hot)
Jar of your favourite pasta sauce (or a jar of strained tomatoes and your own dried spices)
Spaghetti of choice, I use spelt pasta (I generally use about 2/3 of a box because I like to have leftovers)

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil your pasta.

Heat oil on medium heat, add garlic and sautee for a minute or so, add the onion and continue to cook until translucent. Add in the green pepper, mushrooms and kalamata olives and continue to cook for about 5min. Next add in your hot sauce – start slowly, you can always add more heat later if you need it. At this point, add your sauce, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20min. Stir occasionally, taste and add more hot sauce, sea salt, etc., if needed.

While the sauce is cooking make your pasta according to the box directions. If the pasta is a little al dente, that’s okay; it will soak up more of the sauce flavours.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Now, at this point, I like to pour the sauce onto the pasta in the bigger pot and mix it together because that’s how I like it. If you prefer to put pasta on your plate first and then top with the sauce, go for it!

Topped with nooch, basil, and extra olives


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Tried to edit my comment to say: This totally made my day...long live Thursday nights!

  3. Yay! We'll have to plan a day/night when we can cook together! :)

  4. Hooray for fall!
    Aww, Jasper looks so comfy and peaceful!