Fr Z’s Kitchen: Flying Spaghetti Monster Edition

Yesterday I read at  Town Hall that a jail bird lost his court bid to get preferential treatment in prison due to his profession of the faith of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  They dress in pirate gear and eat pasta.  The judge wasn’t buying what he was selling.

In honor of the court’s decision, I decided that I, too, would eat pasta.  Since the aforementioned “church” just made stuff up, I, too, improvised a recipe.

First, to the grocer!

It being Friday, my local grocer has seafood on sale.  “Fish On Friday”, they have painted on their windows.  I, indeed, found some goodies on sale.

Setting up.

NB: I added a sprig tarragon on a whim after I shot the photo.

What do you see?  A leek, little tomatoes, a lemon, parsley, a habañero, 16 count shrimp (which I subsequently cleaned and de-veined – about $4 off the regular price), bay scallops (also reduced).  I had the leak, tomatoes, parsley, and lemon on hand.

But first, an opener… literally.

You need one of these and a strong arm.

Blue point.

I usually opt for the mignonette approach, rather than the red stuff with horseradish.

The vinegar… I know.  It’s what I had.


It’s been a while, and I had to get the knack back.  (Hint: start at the “hinge”.)   Also, they were oddly shaped in several cases, so I had to really work.  My idea of purgatory now involves shucking oysters.

Meanwhile, speaking of pearls, I should mention a new print by the Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui.  It is Marian and is inspired by prints which Matteo Ricci (a good Jesuit) brought to China and gave to a publisher there.  Fascinating description.  Go read over there.

A detail.  Brrrrr.

Back at the stove, I gave the veg a light stir and then set it aside.

I cut the leak quite thinly, quartered the little tomatoes, and sliced the pepper into fine strips.  It helps if your knife is as sharp as a liberals tongue.

Generous ground pepper and a modicum of olive oil, “olio nuovo”, which is like liquid sunshine.

In go the bugs.

It’s odd working on a stove.  In the Steam-Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue I cooked for 3 years on a hot plate (thanks, K, for that).  In the Cupboard Under The Stairs, I have a stove.  It’s electric, blech, but I can heat more than one thing at the same time!  I’m adjusting.  (It’s also more to clean.)

I rejoined the veg instanter and the pasta (fresh linguine cooked in salted water and broth) with a slopping of white wine.


Linguine “Mostro Volante”.

Set up carefully and then work lickety-split.

Alas, I cooked only for myself.  Sometimes you have to make yourself more than PBJs.  Right?  I’ve been in scrounge mode for a while now.  This was a treat.

You, too, can make wonderful food with simple ingredients.  The oysters were a bit of a splurge, I’ll grant, but it doesn’t take all that much to have a great repast.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. snoozie says:

    There is a bad virus in Matsui’s site…Kaspersky won’t allow access to individual prints. You might wanna let him will have a bad effect on his business.

  2. Anthony says:

    This looks delicious!
    Might I be so bold as to suggest Fresh Basil instead of (curley) parsley? [Good idea! I didn’t have any, but I did have some tarragon. I went another direction.]

  3. jameeka says:

    Yummy! So glad you have a Cupboard with a stove now, and the complete set-up and customized dish to evangelize the pastafarians.

  4. APX says:

    My idea of purgatory now involves shucking oysters.

    My idea of purgatory involves ironing clothing with pleats and gather.

    I have acquired a massive amount of diced tomatoes and tomato paste and onions, so I suspect spaghetti and sauce will be on the menu for the next several weeks.

  5. Elizabeth M says:

    You have not been invited to be a guest chef on “Savoring Our Faith” because?

    Dear Readers should get together and send you an Italian food care package.

  6. Matt Robare says:

    I find that Buzzfeed, with its target audience of college students and heavily indebted young professionals, usually has some excellent inexpensive recipes. For instance, they recently had a creamy chicken pesto pasta dish, but it works just as well without the chicken and makes quite a few servings.

    I’ve also discovered the joy of roasting whole chickens and using them up completely — I use leftover meat in various dishes, like chicken marsala tonight — and make soup from the carcass.

  7. Charles E Flynn says:

    How do you judge when the scallops are done, by eye, or with an instant-read thermometer?

  8. I touch them to see how firm they have gotten. You don’t want to over cook them!

Comments are closed.