Eat Me. Drink Me.

Why We Eat. Why We Drink. Why We Write.

Tag: pasta

Things I’ve Never Done

by lyzpfister

spaghetti carbonara

I don’t think of myself as a particularly brave person. I don’t have stories about skydiving in New Zealand or bungee-jumping off bridges. I’ve never lived in a third-world village or gone on a solo trip through some really high mountains in a country whose language I do not speak.

I was having dinner with a friend a while ago, and he asked me, “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”

I said, “I… don’t know.”

And I honestly couldn’t think of anything, with the exception of a few stupid stunts I’d pulled in college. And those were stories which, though funny then, would make me seem like that person now. So – no.

My life is lame, I thought. I should pack up my bags and go to Nepal or live with the Massai for a year or go ice fishing with the Inuits. And learn Yupik. Probably I should learn Yupik. Or something.

But is that what it means for me to live an interesting life, a brave life? Is living bravery on a smaller scale still as brave? Is it relative?

People tell me I’m brave for having moved to New York, for then having moved to Berlin, without knowing (in various combinations for each place) whether I’d find a job, an apartment, friends… But I don’t think of these moves as being brave things. They were just things I had to do. So I did them.

If I don’t feel compelled to go skydiving, does that mean it’s cowardice not to go?

I’ve been thinking about these questions as my life in Berlin settles into place. I’m getting comfortable. Comfortable in my routine, in the way I understand myself and who I am here. But I’m happy. And the feeling I felt before I left New York, that anxious, twitching itch like a circus troupe stuck in my gut – I don’t feel that now.

Berlin

I don’t want to believe that living a brave life is dependent on where you are – and how exotic it sounds. I want to believe that the daily practice of bravery can sometimes be simple and small and that only we can rate its worth.

My version of bravery is this: asking for enough money for my work , standing up for the things I need, allowing myself to fall in love.

spaghetti carbonara

I could add eating raw eggs to the list – though I’m sure my mother would say that this isn’t bravery, jut a bad idea.

I want to talk about spaghetti carbonara, which until recently, was something I’d never done before. Partly because my mother has instilled in me a pure terror of eating raw eggs and partly because the idea of having to quickly transfer hot noodles into raw eggs and mix in some other stuff with just the right rhythm before the eggs curdle and you’re left with nasty pasta egg stuff kind of scared me.

Spaghetti carbonara is simple – it’s pasta, eggs, ham, cheese, and pepper. The only thing that makes it slightly complicated is the technique – the order in which you put it together, the quick wrist flicks that turn raw eggs into silky, rich sauce.

spaghetti carbonara

As I stood at the stove, however, separating egg yolks from white and listening to the sizzle of fatty pancetta cubes crisping up, I wondered what I’d been afraid of. There was nothing to it but a little prep and a little confidence.

Is this bravery? I wondered. Can bravery be so little as to cook something you’ve never cooked before – something which you were afraid of, though in the scale of fears it was a small fear?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But for right now, the circus troupe is still. I don’t want to go swimming with sharks and no, I don’t want to learn Yupik and live with the Inuits. I like my life. I like where I am and what I’m doing. So for now, spaghetti carbonara and other small braveries will have to do.

spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

(for 2)

Set a pot of salted water to boil. In the meantime, heat ½ cup cubed pancetta in a slip of olive oil on medium-high heat. When the pancetta has crisped up and slightly browned, remove from heat. Drain the drippings from the meat and reserve. Set the pancetta aside and allow to cool slightly. In a bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg. When your water is boiling, add pasta – enough for two people – and cook according to package instructions. Prepare: ½ cup grated pecorino cheese and 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper. When the pasta is al dente, drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water. Add pancetta to eggs, then add pasta and cooking water to egg mixture. Using two forks, toss the pasta to coat. Gradually add pecorino, tossing pasta until everything is one beautifully luxurious melted cheese, egg mess. Add pepper and salt to taste and give it one last, loving toss.

*A side note on semantics: I realize it’s a bit of a bold move to conflate “a brave life” with “an interesting life.” I look at it in this sense: an interesting life is one in which an individual makes brave choices on a daily basis. And yet, when I think of an interesting life, I tend to think of something more glamorous than what I’m doing, and therefore much harder than what I’m doing, and therefore requiring more bravery than what I’m giving. So really, the semantics are personal and wide open for debate. Discuss.

spaghetti carbonara

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My Life Without an Appendix

by lyzpfister

It’s not so bad, really, to live without an appendix.  It was nice, sometimes, to take walks with my appendix, to run errands with my appendix, even to have lunch with my appendix.  But it wasn’t really until my appendix was gone, that I realized what it was to miss my appendix.  I took walks, I ran errands, I ate lunch, and yet, I felt a hole, an appendix-shaped hole, right where my appendix used to be.  It’s been a few months now, since my appendix was taken from me, and I feel a little solace, looking at the three small scars on my belly where at least something was given to me in exchange.  I’ve grown to like those little scars, to like them almost more than I liked my appendix, since when I had it with me, I didn’t pay much attention to my appendix at all.

I’m alone in Berlin now.  It’s strange how, when there were people in the apartment, all I wanted was to be alone and quiet and now, when I’m alone and it’s quiet, all I want is someone else.

This morning, I sent my mother off to the airport at six, and fell back into a cautious sleep.  When I woke up, the apartment was already a different place.  It was more silent, heavier; I was afraid of the sound of my voice.  I’d never paid attention to my mother’s breath, but now that it wasn’t there, I knew what it was to miss her.

I am not comparing my mother to my appendix.  How grotesque.  I’m only saying that we often spend more time clacking after what we don’t have rather than listening for the presence of the things that are with us.  Our lives are in a flux of having and not having and almost always, what we have we will at some point lose.  It’s only perspective, to think I have, rather than I have not, I won’t have, I don’t have anymore.

So, I have: walls of books, two shelves of records and a record player that works, a little red bike, calm in which to work, big windows, walls around me and a roof above me, and somewhere outside of these walls, though I can’t see them or hear them, people who love me.

Ella Fitzgerald kept me company as I made myself dinner for myself.  Yet there was something soothing in the familiarity of being at the stove, in hearing Ella’s voice and singing with her, in the rhythm of the chopping, that kept me thinking, have, have, have.

Pasta with Fennel and Onions

Set a pot of salted water on to boil.  When it’s boiling, throw some pasta in the pot.  In the meantime, heat olive oil in a skillet.  Sauté one thinly sliced onion, one thinly sliced fennel bulb, and a minced garlic clove with salt, pepper, and a little bit of sugar until the onion and fennel are soft.  Add a handful of chopped basil and a chopped tomato.  Maybe some more olive oil.  Let it simmer just a bit.  The tomato is like a new kid on the playground – it takes some time to make friends.  Weeks and years, sometimes, until a friendship forms.  With the tomato, though, it’s not so long, maybe six minutes.  Throw in some capers and toss everything together, the pasta and the onions and fennel, no gentle friendships here, and garnish with shaved parmesan.

Dinner Stroll

by lyzpfister

Our apartment’s fire alarm is hyper-reactive, erupting into warning cries at just the intimation of heat.  This means that when I cook, I spend almost as much time running back and forth between the two alarms with a long wooden stick and disengaging them with a well-aimed prod, as I do standing in front of the stove.

I do a lot of walking in New York in general, so the fire alarm situation is nothing out of the ordinary.  The other night, I met a friend for dinner after work.  We were meeting at 6:15 and I was done with work at 5 – so rather than wait around uptown, I walked the thirty or so blocks from SoHo to 6th and 20th.  I like to walk casually but with purpose, separating myself from the throng on the city streets.  Everyone is stressed in New York, even the tourists, who must somehow subconsciously feed off everyone else’s frantic energy.  To set yourself apart from this and still be in it is an almost elevated feeling of peace, like every commercial where there’s that one guy standing there while the rest of the world blurs by like water.

I like the introspection that comes along with walking – the mind’s mimesis of wandering feet.  And especially walking in New York, I have these moments where I thrill that I live here.  It’s a very special moment, to know where you are going, to know that after you leave your bank on Broadway and 10th, you can wander generally South and left (I actually do all my directions this way; I’ve mastered North and South, but I find East and West a little elusive), and you can pick up a bottle of cheap wine at the Broadway Liquor Warehouse, check on a new milk frother at Sur la Table and finally end up at your favorite pasta shop on Grand and Mulberry for fresh egg fettuccine and next door, a slab of Sicilian black pepper cheese.

I feel most connected to places in which I’ve walked.  Maybe this is why I’ve felt more at home in cities where I haven’t spent more than a few months total – Bremen in Germany, Melbourne in Australia – than in the town where I grew up.  It’s when I have the map in my feet that I think of a place as home.

I’ve had the last two days off work, and it’s luxurious.  I love running errands without a time constraint, and I tend to get more done when I don’t feel pressured to do as much.  I’ve also cooked a lot.  I had leftovers from Thanksgiving still – a whole pumpkin threatening collapse, chicken livers from a walnut and apricot stuffing, plenty of fresh herbs, shallots, and lots of other fancy things I don’t usually keep in stock.  And so, in between the Laundromat and the post office, I found time to make a pumpkin-turkey soup, roasted pumpkin seeds, and pasta with liver-butter sauce.

Cutting liver is unpleasant, like slicing a squeegee or hearing the accidental squeal of a piece of chalk across a board.  You can feel liver resisting the knife.  And badly prepared liver is ungrateful.  It is grainy and dense and dislikes being chewed as much as it didn’t want to be cut.  But good liver – good liver is my truffle.  Buttery, earthy, deep and graciously forgiving.

Learning to love liver is much like discovering a place.  At first, unknowable and a little off-putting.  Resistant, careful of its secrets, but approached with persistence, patience, and the desire to understand, yielding to the chef’s knife, the walker’s feet.

I cook the way I walk, a destination in mind but a less fixed route for the travel.  This way, I keep myself open to learn the secrets of a city or of a dish that harried preoccupation never reveals.  And so, as I run from one fire alarm to the other, I think, it’s not so bad; I know the secrets of my hallway well.

I can’t take credit for this recipe, so check it out here: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-fettuccine-with-chicken-liver-sauce

Comfort Food and Pumpkin Things

by lyzpfister

I haven’t written about comfort food in a while.  Although this is probably entirely untrue, since I was once accused of describing all foods as comfort foods, after which point I decided that food, for me, is comfort.

I wasn’t even going to make dinner tonight and just settle for the baguette with brie and a cappuccino that I snacked on a while ago while writing an article.  But I got some bad news today, and bad news always makes me crave tomatoes.  And, oh, the news is so tedious and repetitive (let’s just say it involves creepy crawlies…) that I don’t want to talk about it.  But I do want to talk about this brilliant little tomato and pumpkin pasta.

We’ve been having a lot of fun with pumpkins here on Starr St.  I bought a misshapen monstrosity at the grocery store the other night and scooped out all the flesh and Anette carved a very Matisse-esque design in the shell which lasted one whole candle-lit evening before the morning evinced a crumpled pumpkin looking like nothing so much as the old woman without teeth who sits on the stoop down the street.  I made a pumpkin curry and pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds, and I still have enough pumpkin to last through the winter.  One pumpkin is a lot of pumpkin.

So tonight, I made a pasta sauce with pumpkin, whole peeled tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  Served over angel hair pasta and topped with chunks of black peppercorn-encrusted creamy parmesan cheese.

Things are looking up already.

Thunder and Sweat

by lyzpfister

In Brooklyn, sweat.  And rain.  At first, just heat lightning flaring between clouds.  Flashes wrinkling through the undulating branches of the tree against the window.  Anette and I sit on the couch drinking red wine out of real wine glasses for once.  The fan makes the sweat prickle on our skin.  On the stove, eggplant simmers with cut tomatoes, garlic, onion, chorizo, basil, oregano.  I am insane to have even lit the stove, to want more heat in the apartment without air conditioning.  My shirt is damp and stuck to my skin, sweat mats my hair across my forehead, mascara dripping on my cheekbones.  Still, I can’t help but hold my face over the steam and scoop up a bite of tomato and eggplant, soft with hints of wine, balsamic, and sugar.

This has been a long month.  The stultifying heat of July reaches record highs, the heat smothers my brain.  I don’t write.  Instead I lie on the floor and watch Nip/Tuck, my laptop propped on my legs, drinking water to quench some insatiable thirst.  My throat still dry.  I make involved to do lists I can’t begin to address, call landlords, pay bills, paint my toenails.  I lose myself in this heat.

I feel it here, I say, and sweep my hand across my collarbones.  My stress, like a prolonged caress, an ache of inactivity, of stuff.

Let’s take a walk and buy another bottle of wine, Anette says.  We hope the air is cooler outside.  The sky flashes.  It’s just heat lighting.  It’s fine, it’s fine, my heart beats.  I am so afraid of lighting.  Outside the breeze is like a bigger fan, but the air is already wet.  By the time we get to the edge of the building, thunder grumbles loudly, close.  Just to the bodega on the corner, Anette says, but already I’m turning back, I can’t, I can’t, I reach for her hand to make her turn around with me, but I grope air.  She says, It’s just to the corner, there. She’s right, I’m being ridiculous, but we walk fast.  Inside the bodega, a roll of thunder smashes over us, car alarms set off by the vibrations siren along the street.  The newest batch of subway riders quickly marches around the corner; they are afraid.  I don’t want to be outside.  We can wait it out, Anette says, but I don’t want to be in the bodega either.  We have to run, I have to run.  I sprint out the door, fat raindrops staining my shirt, mixing with sweat, each thunderclap and my feet fly faster.  I feel light, I almost want to keep running.  With the wind against my wet face, I am cool, finally.  Cool, light, mobile.  At the door, I duck inside.  I pant.  The rain has become solid.  Anette was right behind me.  I didn’t notice.

The apartment is still hot.  I boil noodles, pour another glass of wine, slow my breathing down.  It’s still storming outside, so I unplug the lights, burn candles.  The muggy indoor air perfumed with onions and garlic sautéed in oil smothers the outdoor smell of electricity and rain.  Eggplant is perfect – astringent flavor subdued by salt and oil into suppleness.  I feel a little like eggplant myself; stubborn, awkward, incomplete, in need of both a push and a gentle hand.

Before the rain, the thunder, the running, I had thought I wanted to be alone, to think about sadness and heat, but it is nicer still to feel loved, to sit with a friend and talk quietly together about joy and trouble.  Wine and rain.  We set out plates, sit down to eat.  I toast to thunder.  She toasts to sweat.

Broke Eating 101, a Blog Post for Cedric

by lyzpfister

Last night at work, I found myself talking about food.  Again.  This happens to me often, usually because I bring my own lunch and when someone asks me what it is, I can’t just say “pasta.”  I have to say, “bowtie pasta with a sauce of crushed tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, and onion topped with grated Sicilian black pepper cheese.”  And then, invariably, we start talking about food, or I launch into some rhapsodous description of what I made for dinner last night.  And, invariably, it’s the same few people who walk in on me, talking about food, again, and say, “Lyz!  You’re always talking about food!”  I mean, maybe.  But I have other hobbies.  Really, I do.

But last night, after going on a foodie spiel, I was asked by a co-worker my advice on cooking cheaply and healthily for yourself.  He was taking notes.  No one had ever taken notes.  But, since there’s no better way to make yourself an expert than to just present yourself as one, I launched into an avalanche of advice.  Really, I’m no expert (I lied, I’m sorry, forgive me), but I think I do manage to make delicious food for very little money.  And so, in the interest of sharing, here are some basic tenets on my approach to cooking and how I manage to live on mostly nothing.

The Kitchen’s Golden Rule
Banish your fear.  Fear is your worst enemy in the kitchen.  You don’t need to measure things exactly, you don’t need to use parsley or caviar.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and don’t be afraid to not follow a recipe exactly.  If you don’t have an ingredient, substitute something else – it might sound strange, but it could be delicious.  (See: the other day, I was making a mango milkshake, but was out of yogurt and used sour cream instead and ohmygoditwasamazing.)

Start With the Basics
Some things are easier to make than others.  Some things are easier to experiment with than others.  If you’re just starting to cook on your own or you want as much variation with as little redundant grocery buying as possible, start with these four things:  grain-based salads, sandwiches, pastas, egg dishes.  More on this later.

Develop a Good Staple and Spice Collection
This is really the key to making delicious food.  Here are some things I always have on hand:
Olive oil – both extra virgin to use cold (especially for salad dressings) and regular for sautéing and drizzling over roasting vegetables
Vegetable oil – for frying and baking
Seasoned rice wine vinegar – goes into every dressing I ever make
Spicy whole grain mustard – same as above
Honey – I like a light-colored honey to sweeten dressings, curries, roasts
Balsamic vinegar – I use this less than rice wine vinegar, but a splash of this is nice in dressings
Sriracha – the best hot sauce in the world, it goes with everything
Soy sauce or Shoyu – great for stir frys, dressings, sautéing vegetables
Mayonnaise – I’m not really big on mayonnaise as a thing itself, but I do use it in cooking as a binder for sandwich fillings or in dressings
Olives – not really a condiment, but I always have some on hand to chop up
Capers – same as with olives; they add such a great, briny flavor to pastas and salads
Peanut butter – the poor man’s power food; you can spread it on bread and use it in sauces for pastas and salad dressings
Brown Sugar – A great sweetener for curries, to make caramelized onions, and in tomato-based sauces
Butter – I mean, a little melted butter, some onions, an egg…
Salt and pepper – duh
Dried herbs – oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil
Spices – curry powder, berbere, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes

Non-Perishable Foodstuffs I Usually Have
Think of these as your canvas and vegetables and meat as paint.  There are so many different types of grains out there that can be way more interesting than just rice and pasta, though those are good too.
Rice – there are so many different types of rice; I prefer white rice for hot dishes and brown rice for salads
Pasta – again, so many types; I like to have a few varieties on hand
Bulgur – delicious hot or cold, beautiful nutty taste
Couscous – also good hot or cold, soaks up the flavor of whatever you put on it
Quinoa – a lot like bulgur, different texture
Grits – great for breakfast, with melted cheese, hot sauce, or buried under eggs
Flour – super basic, great for thickening sauces and baking, of course
Breadstuff – this can include sliced bread, tortillas, or pitas (I know this is perishable, technically, but it fits better in this category…)

Perishable Foodstuffs I Usually Always Have, Too
You can use these things for EVERYTHING, so I try to always have some on hand.
Onions – use sliced, sautéed onions in pretty much everything
Garlic – ditto for garlic, a little bit goes a long way; also great in salad dressings
Potatoes – roasted, sautéed, mashed, and always filling
Parsley – people underestimate the power of garnishes, but there’s so much flavor in parsley and it brightens up any carb-heavy dish
Cilantro – you either love or hate cilantro, but if you love it, use it in salads, tacos, sandwiches, anything cold
Eggs – so versatile, more on these later
Cheese – I usually have a few types of cheese on hand; always a block of parmesan, and then I rotate between brie, feta, goat, blue, and cheddar
Cabbage – hot or cold, stir fry or slaw, another versatile food that lasts forever
Greens – a bunch of greens is so cheap and lasts for over two weeks

Grain-Based Salads
If you’re broke, you need to eat cheap, but you don’t need to sacrifice taste or health for something that’s going to fill you up.  The key is grain-based salads.  It’s simple: choose a grain (like rice, bulgur or quinoa) and cook it, chop up some veggies (carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber, beets, jalapenos, cilantro, canned corn, red or green pepper, whatever), make a dressing (olive oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper, fresh herbs), and mix it all together.  Grains are super cheap and a little bit goes a long way, since it’s very filling.  So having a salad made with a grain base is great because you don’t need a lot of veggies to make a really great meal.  Use this principle to make pasta salads as well.

Sandwiches
There is nothing you can’t put between two slices of bread.  Forget sliced deli meat, yellow cheese, and mayo.  So boring.  Think:  crumbled blue cheese or feta, bacon, lettuce, homemade slaw, pequillo peppers, avocado, egg, mushroom – basically any leftovers you have in your fridge, throw it on bread.

You can even take some of your leftover grain-based salad, put it on a pita and then make a little cabbage and carrot slaw – and bam, you have a wrap.  Waste nothing.  Put it in a sandwich.

Pastas
What you can’t put in a pasta sauce… Think of pasta sauce as a way to use up leftovers.  Nubs of carrots, canned tomatoes, olives, capers, peppers, onions, eggplant, egg – just sauté veggies until soft, cook pasta, toss together.  Shave some parmesan on top.

Egg Dishes
Kind of the workhorse of broke cooking.  You can put anything in eggs (trend, anyone?).  A frittata can include: potatoes, onions, broccoli, greens, leftover pasta, parsley, tomatoes, chicken – or whatever else you happen to find.  Just soften everything in a skillet and then crack two eggs into the pan.

Some Final Thoughts
There’s more.  There’s always more.  But this is a great place to start if you’re new to cooking for yourself – or if you’re new to not having any money.  Especially if you’re new to not having any money and needing to cook for yourself.  Remember, just don’t be afraid to do anything and it’ll all turn out ok.

A New Thing
I’d like to ask your input, your advice.  We’re all about as expert as each other.  What can’t you cook without?  What do you always have on hand?  Ready: respond.

Something From Nothing (a post by Lyz)

by lyzpfister

I wish there was a tiny chorus of approving gourmands that lived over my left shoulder and gave me a round of applause and a miniature pat on the back from each of their sprinkle-sized hands every time I verged on the brink of culinary genius.  Like when, after two months of mediocre results, I finally manage to make perfect foam with my espresso machine for four days in a row (right now!  I’m drinking perfect foam!  Isn’t it exciting?).  Or when, on the spur of the moment, I add a layer of strawberry jam between two layers of ordinary yellow cake with vanilla frosting.  Or when, coming home after a long day of work, I despondently shrug my shoulders at the mismatched food in my pantry, only to throw the mess together into something delicious half an hour later.

But there are no invisible gourmands.  It’s just me and my mouth and occasionally my roommates, who I make eat bites of my food as they walk past on their ways to something probably very interesting.

Can I clap for myself?

Luckily, I have a partner in crime – the other half to my half-full pantry – and together, we are very good at making something out of nothing.  The other day, we were sitting around, kvetching, drinking green tea with ginger and honey, and realized that it was dark (no hard feat in winter Brooklyn) and we were hungry.  This is kind of how the conversation went:

Me: “I’m hungry.”
Her: “Let’s make food.”
Me: “I don’t have anything.”
Her: “Me either.”
Me: “I have potatoes and blue cheese.”
Her: “I have lettuce.”
Me: “Ok, we’ll figure it out.”

The result being that we scrounged up a salad with peppery greens, blue cheese, canned beets, almonds, and a dressing of oil, cherry flavored balsamic vinegar, lemon, Dijon mustard, and honey.  We found a can of tuna and so made a tuna salad which we ate on the last slice of a dense, whole grain bread, split in two.  We didn’t even eat my potatoes.

The moral of that story is: there’s never really nothing, unless of course, there’s really nothing.

I believe I’ve made this point before, but not everything one cooks will be a success.  Not even everything will be good.  I’ve made horrible mistakes.  Ruining stir fry with too much ginger, underestimating the potency of fenugreek (never, ever underestimate the potency of fenugreek), attempting to make blue cheese and bruschetta work (it just sounds like it does).  But for all of those failures, there will be amazing wins.  And the wins are so much better because you figured them out yourself.  It isn’t some recipe Martha Stewart’s food lackeys have tested hundreds of times to find just the right ratio of cumin to salt.  It is one shot at something good, it’s Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star.

So shoulder gourmands or no, I will continue to experiment, to resist having to walk in the cold to the grocery store, to finally use the jar of brined lemons, the fennel bulb, the semolina flour, and the tamarind paste.  But maybe not together.

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes

This is one of those come-home-late-hungry-want-food-now dishes that I threw together a few nights ago.  Super easy, super good.

Melt a healthy chunk of butter in a saucepan and when melted, toss in one yellow onion, slivered, and oh, one or two tablespoons of brown sugar.  Stir the onion slivers around until they’re past translucent and at some point add one finely chopped clove of garlic.  In the mean time, put on a pot of water to boil and salt it if you’d like.  After the water has boiled, add a handful of linguine and set the timer for ten minutes.  After five minutes have passed, add a chopped tomato, basil leaves, and a dash of oregano to the onions and stir it around pleasantly.  Season with salt and pepper.  When your linguine is done cooking, drain it and rinse it with cold water, then add it to your onions and tomatoes.  Toss everything thoroughly and maybe add a dash of olive oil to bring it all together.