What kind of jobs did you have while attending school? Did you sell graphic tees to teenagers at Hot Topic? Or don polo shirts and khakis to sell family plans at the Sprint store? Or pour endless cups of coffee at iHop?
When I was in grad school, I waited tables. I worked for a truly terrible steakhouse chain that I suspect (hope?) is now out of business. We were always running out of clean glasses, our job performance was measured by how many girly fruity drinks we sold to a clientele that just wanted beer, and according to rumor, my general manager went to prison a couple months after I left. For a different job, I donned a blue dirndl, which made me look like Snow White, to serve chicken in Frankenmuth, Michigan. One day after work, I went through a fast food drive through and the lady at the window immediately burst into giggles upon seeing my dirndl and said, “Where do you work??!!” So yes, I had the type of job that made fast food workers grateful they weren’t me.
But my favorite restaurant I worked at was called Guido’s. Sadly, it no longer exists, but they had the best pizzas and pastas in Saginaw. The owner was awesome and every business on the block was friendly and would just walk through each other’s back doors to say hi.
One of my favorite things at Guido’s (I had about half a dozen favorites) was a spaghetti that had sauteed mushrooms and goat cheese. This isn’t The Recipe, as I have no idea what was in the pasta sauce, but it’s inspired by it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 32-oz can of tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 16-oz package of spaghetti
- 6 oz goat cheese, cut into rounds
- Optional: shredded basil to top
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, red pepper flakes, and salt and saute for approximately 12 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, bay leaf, and additional salt. Simmer uncovered over low heat for approximately one hour.
- While the marinara is simmering, preheat the oven to 375. Toss mushrooms with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Add mushrooms in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, stirring the mushrooms once after 15 minutes.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve a half cup of cooking water and then drain pasta.
- Add the spaghetti and roasted mushrooms to the marinara sauce and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Add reserved cooking water, if needed. Add freshly cracked black pepper.
- Serve with rounds of goat cheese and (optional) shredded basil.