You will need:
About a pound of fresh asparagus, as thick as your thumb at the base
Half a pound of whatever mushroom is cheapest this week
A generous handful of oil-cured black olives
Half a ball of fresh mozzerella
Two handsful of cherry tomatoes
Five cloves of garlic
A serving or two of linguine
A couple of shots of good single-malt Scotch
Nickel Creek's "This Side" CD
1. Put on the CD. Put asparagus into a preheated 400* oven with salt, pepper, and maybe a little oil. All on a baking sheet, of course.
2. Slice mushrooms thickish. This should take you all of "Smoothie Song".
3. Pit olives (if they're not already). Slice garlic thinly.
4. Rinse olives under hot water in a colander to remove excess oil. You should be well into "Speak" at this point.
5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Shake the asparagus, then put it back in the oven.
6. Toss sliced 'shrooms in there. You want them to brown around the edges, not sweat out their juices. You should be doing a little hip-shake to "Should've Known Better."
7. Pour a generous dollop of your favorite single-malt and sing along with "Hanging By a Thread". Start water to boil for linguine.
8. Add olives and garlic to mushrooms, turn heat down to low. Slice tomatoes in half. Dice cheese.
9. Sing along to "Green and Gray."
10. Toss linguine into boiling water. It should boil about the time you hear the line "notebook and Discman for friends."
11. Finish first dollop of Scotch and send a mental shout-out to Rob.
12. Now we're into the home stretch, with "Beauty and the Mess". Quit blogging and go drain linguine. Toss tomatoes with cooked mushrooms and olives and garlic, then pour over pasta.
13. Add cheese. Watch as it melts.
14. Yank asparagus out of the oven. Arrange asparagus and pasta attractively on a plate.