Kids in the Kitchen: Linguine with Aspragus and Pine Nuts

I am blessed. My kids will eat weird stuff. Dim Sum. Curry. Asparagus. No, they weren’t born this way. I’m one of those uptight parents who thinks if you take a kid to an ethnic restaurant, they should eat ethnic food. That does not mean chicken nuggets.

Linguine with Asparagus and Pine Nuts
Linguine with Asparagus and Pine Nuts

So this week I reminded them they liked weird food. Specifically asparagus. Yes, I know it looks like trees. I don’t care. I wanted real food. Tasty food. Cooked by someone else food. I tasked the kids with making Linguine with Asparagus and Pine Nuts from Real Simple Magazine.

This came in part from Scout Son announcing a few weeks ago that he couldn’t make mac and cheese from a box. Sadly, he’s right. What he makes is a congealed, starchy mess. So, pasta training was necessary, but I’m not eating mac and cheese with powdered cheese. Unless I’m exhausted or hormonal and it’s the only thing in the house. But nobody’s judged by what they eat on those days.

Armed with a paring knife, Snarky Daughter began cutting 1-inch pieces of asparagus, and Scout Son and I discussed the proper way to cook pasta. Problem number one: don’t add the pasta until the water is boiling. Somebody likes to add the pasta when the first thought of a bubble appears on the bottom of the pan. Problem number two: add some salt to the water and, problem number three, stir the pasta when you toss it in the pot so it doesn’t stick.

With some awesome al dente pasta (not a congealed mess), garlic, pine nuts and asparagus, we sat down thirty minutes later to a fantastic meal, and the knowledge that I will be sending two kids out into the world with cooking skills. The only question now is who’s going to cook one night a week when they both move out?


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