Unlike other dishes I posted in the past, this one was made and shot without any planning whatsoever. No brainstorming on recipes, visualizing and sketching the plating or testing the flavor. It was one of those days when my husband couldn’t go to work because whole central business district in Hong Kong was paralyzed due to the protest, and I woke up feeling like making a bunch of things that I wanted him to try. So I made a few things we could snack on here and there, then hit the jackpot. This wholesome vegan pasta was so quick, easy, healthy and beautiful that I had to share it here. And cooking and eating this dish was a distraction that I really needed.
I don’t know if you heard about what has been going on in Hong Kong. Serious protests and violence have been escalating non-stop for months. Although pretty much anyone who lives in the city including myself is used to the situation, I still couldn’t help but feeling sad and worried about my second home. The city where I worked, met my friends and husband whom I’ve built my life with for almost a decade.
I came to Hong Kong alone after graduating from college in London. I had no friends or relatives, only people I knew back then were people I had met during the job interviews. People often told me how brave I was, moving to the city that I hardly knew on my own and some of them very kindly worried about me. I still don’t know why but from the very beginning it somehow felt right. It felt like I could be doing fine here even on my own. And I was right. I did more than fine, in fact the most important part of my life wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the city. But now, I am not so sure. Life goes on as usual on the surface but I have a bad feeling that I might have to prepare for the worst and leave Hong Kong for a reason that I never imagined before. It’s a little hard to be in a good mood with thoughts like that in my head.
Fortunately, there are a few things that still give me joy. And cooking is one of them for sure. Cooking this simple 15-minute pasta and and realizing how unexpectedly good it was made me so happy that all my worries had disappeared even for a moment. I am a firm believer of food being a part of certain memories, and no matter what happens this dish will definitely be a part of many happy food memories I’ve had in Hong Kong.
- Cook and prep for 15-20mins
- Serves 2
- 200g. dried spinach linguine
- 2 1/2 – 3 tbsp. capers
- 4 cloves. garlic
- 1-2 chilis
- 1 1/2 tbsp. regular olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to season
- A handful of flat leaf parsley
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Start boiling salted water in a pot.
Slice garlic and chilis and set aside.
Add pasta in a boiling water, and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan and cook capers for 2-3 minutes over gentle heat.
Add sliced garlic and chilis and a half tablespoon of oil in a pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes adjusting the heat to make sure the garlic won’t burn.
Add cooked pasta into a pan with a ladleful of starch water from the pot.
Mix everything gently and cook for another minute or two. Season with a little salt (as capers are already quite salty) and generous amount of black pepper.
Serve with torn flat leaf parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!