Don't like cooking out of a book? List in hand, scouring the markets for fancy ingredients? Dirtying every damn pot in the house? Turning out dinner after two hours in the kitchen only to hear "what is that?!?!"
Me either. As far as I'm concerned, hoity toity gourmet cooking can suck it.
Here's my summary of a no nonsense gourmet meal (because of the fancy-ass Italian name, of course):
Cacio e Pepe
grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook the pasta "al dente" which means make sure there is something left "to bite" when it's done. Don't leave it boiling and go surf the web.
2. Strain it (duh).
3. Put it in a big fancy bowl.
4. Pour some extra virgin olive oil on it...don't drowned it... just enough to keep it from sticking.
5. Mix in the cheese. As much or as little as you want... for 4 servings I usually use a cup.
6. Pepper to taste. If you want your kids to eat it (without screaming), wait and pepper individual dishes as desired.
DONE! Takes, what, 20 minutes? If you want to be all industrious, you can even fix a salad while the pasta is cooking. Won't win you any points with the punks though.