Wikipedia tells us that improvisation in the arts (I think cooking qualifies as a creative art, don’t you?) “can be thought of as an "on the spot" or "off the cuff" spontaneous moment of sudden inventiveness that can just come to mind, body and spirit as an inspiration.”
Inspiration came to this dish when I emptied out the contents of the vegetable crisper and started shuffling things around. Squash and mushrooms, basil and parsley, minced garlic in a jar, briny dark olives, and plenty of parmesan cheese to go with that pasta. Well, looky here, we had the makings of a fairly interesting meal after all.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
- Jarred sauces and other store-bought foods are fine but usually improve by being doctored up. At least sauté some onions and garlic to add, maybe add a handful of herbs. Your sauce/whatever is already 100% better now.
- Don’t let any one thing overwhelm all the other things. Balance is key.
- Season with salt & pepper as you go.
- When in doubt, add more cheese!
The Verdict: Comfort food at its finest. With the added benefit of feeling virtuous for cleaning out your fridge and using up the leftovers!
* BTW this is the only acceptable way to thaw frozen meat, say for example, chicken thighs.