I love this time of year. While I’m not getting ready for school, I love that people are. Brand new notebooks, spirals, sharpened pencils and markers are filling the aisles and I can barely resist. Yellow school buses are on the streets and the first signs of a cool autumn breeze are in the air–it’s good for my soul.
If you are feeling that sense of anticipation, of going to bed before the sun goes down, and getting to go swimming after school which can only happen a few weeks out of the year; if you’re there then good for you. Enjoy that. I miss it, both as a kid and as an adult and am loving seeing everyone else get ready.
Weeknight meals are extra important during the school months. A school night meal, especially when it’s still warm out, must be fast, healthy, and use the fresh ingredients that the season is still producing in abundance. It’s hard to transition back into a routine after months of eating hot dogs outdoors. Let’s make the transition as easy as possible with quick, fresh ingredients that are reminiscent of Summer. Then let’s all do homework with a freshly sharpened pencil and brand new loose leaf paper. These things make me happy.
This easy pasta dish is one of those meals. It’s healthy and fresh and can be made very quickly.
The burst tomatoes create a light, fresh sauce, while the chopped olives and artichoke hearts are briny and bright.
This is healthy and comforting and perfect for a Summer school night (a very weird oxymoron). I ate this for dinner warm and the next day cold with a little feta cheese and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Each were equally as delicious which also proves that this not only is perfect for a school night, but also travels well for lunch the next day. I’m looking at you, teacher friends.
If school is at all a part of your life, I hope these first few weeks of school (or last few weeks of Summer, depending on where you live) are wonderful. Please, go buy some school supplies for me. I think I’m going to have to give in and at least buy some pencils.
I’ll leave you with this, which is possibly the best description of Fall there ever was.
Joe Fox: Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.
You’ve Got Mail–another thing that’s good for my soul. Also, if I got a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils I’d lose my mind. That would be my best day ever.
Here’s the recipe.
Spaghetti with Olives, Artichokes and Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup drained pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped (I got these and the artichoke hearts at the antipasto bar in my grocery store. You could buy jarred as well).
- 1 cup drained artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Feta or Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve some pasta water just in case and drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft but not browned, then add garlic and cook for one minute before, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add chopped olives and artichoke hearts, then tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are just burst, about 5 more minutes. Add drained spaghetti and toss until coated. Add a little splash of pasta water if the mixture is looking too dry.
- Serve immediately with crumbled feta or grated Parmesan if desired. This is also just as good cold the next day with feta and a little drizzle of olive oil.