Blame it on the Bon Appetit youtube channel, but lately I’ve been super into cooking. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because living away from home and the dining hall means I’ve been doing a lot more cooking. It’s been a great time to explore something new, to learn about sauces and spicing, test my baking abilities, and get to eat the results.
Styling is a bit like cooking. You’ve got your base, your bread or rice or main veg. Then you add some spices, simmer up a sauce, and, while balancing salt, fat, acid and heat, create a product that’s greater than the sum of the ingredients. A well accessorized look is just the sartorial equivalent to freshly cracked black pepper.
This is all a long way of saying I dressed up like my (current) favorite summer recipe, vegan creamy pasta with asparagus. Nothing says delicious like matching your clothes to your plate.
Gather your ingredients: pasta for one, olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, handful of asparagus, vegetable bouillon, oat milk, dried rosemary, flour. The gals over at Femme Luxe were kind enough to send me a few pieces, so the sartorial ingredients are a rosy pink one shoulder crop top, a slinky black two piece set, a one shouldered long sleeve and a glittery mesh top.
Set the pasta water to boil, salt it well, and once it’s roiling, stick in your pasta. In another pan, heat some olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Did I mention this was going to be imprecise? Smash two cloves of garlic with whatever is nearest, chop them up and add them to the oil. This is the most basic starting block for most pasta and sauce dishes, and I chose a sartorial equivalent to match. The first piece, a one shoulder crop top, is the carb, oil, and garlic. It’s a basic, yes, but delightful nonetheless. The color of this top is also beautiful, a dusty rose that somehow made my (extremely pale) skin have a healthy glow. Like pasta, it would look great dressed up fancily with some statement pants, piles of necklaces, silk scarf as a headband. But also like pasta, which is sometimes best just with butter and pepper, it worked equally well with some basic black pants and a tote meant for schlepping. It has a similar vibe to a women summer swim suit, sporty yet functional.
Cut your asparagus into little slivers, about the width of a pea, and add them to your (browned) garlic. The next look is inspired by those lovely green asparagus. I started with a little wrap top, part of a co-ord set (the pants will make an appearance later). It’s a super stretchy material, which means it wrapped around me multiple times. The skirt is asparagus green, silky, and made the look a little more laid back, Sunday morning rather than Friday night. And while we’re on the topic of asparagus, stir around your asparagus and garlic babies. Feel free to add a teensy bit of salt, to get the flavor going. Something in me thinks that makes the asparagus let go of water faster, but I’m honestly out of my depth.
Once the asparagus is looking slightly browned, in the same pot because we’re not fussy and also we hate washing too many pots, throw in some oat milk. A cup or two, enough to give the asparagus a good swim. Give it a stir, wait for the oat milk + oil + deliciousness to come together slightly. To celebrate the basis of the sauce, I dressed up like an Oatly carton, with a white long sleeve, blue silky shirt, and black one shouldered top. This outfit has a sum total of 3 sleeves. It’s creamy, it’s elegant, and the shoulder mixing makes it almost cooler than the ultimate non-dairy milk.
Returning to the literal and non metaphorical oat milk, add some rosemary! Delicious. Give it a smell, because it should be looking delish. This is also the moment to add the tip of a spoonful’s worth of veggie bouillon. It’ll be salty and give the sauce some umami.
Your sauce should be looking kind of thin, so let’s fix that! Pour a small amount off into a bowl, and stir in about a tablespoon of flour until it’s a smooth liquid. Then add that back to your pan and disperse. If it congeals, don’t sweat it too much. Turn up your heat a little and stir vigorously. Also, once the pasta is in, you’re not going to notice any lumps and bumps.
And oh! Speaking of the pasta! It should be done! Try a noodle. It should be pretty al dente, because we’re going to finish it in the sauce. Pour out the excess water (if your sauce is too thick, pour some of the glutenous pasta water into it), and then plop it into your delicious sauce. Stir, let the noodles soak up some of your sauce, and add pepper and salt to taste. This sparkly, semi-sheer top is a visual salt and pepper, but I styled it on its own, which isn’t how most people choose to consume S&P. We’re giving the underdog a chance here.
For the final look, I’m wearing these amazing flare pants, which are super stretchy, meaning I can consume lots of pasta without any pesky waistbands getting in the way. They’re also ridiculously high waisted, which I love because they feel rather supportive on an inevitable food baby. Plus, they’re also ideal for cooking with in the summer, because they’re super breathable and easy.
Enjoy your literal and sartorial snacks!