Anne Sawyer Recipes

Quarantine Pasta, from Episode One of “A Woman with a Very Large Knife.”

Quarantine Pasta

File under: “Oh God, Oh God, We’re All Going to Die Anyway, So Might As Well Go In A Pool Of Cheesy Bliss.”

(Seriously edited version from podcast. For the full flavor of this recipe, listen to Episode 1 of “A Woman with a Very Large Knife,” which you can find in the podcast section of my website.)


  • One package Angel Hair Pasta
  • One bag uncooked shrimp, large
  • One bunch of asparagus, fresh
  • One package of mushrooms (button or similar)
  • 3/4 cup smoked cheddar, grated
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella, grated
  • Cascades of Parmesan cheese
  • Two Tbsp butter (okay, maybe three)
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp Italian spices
  • salt and pepper to taste (no judgement here)

Set two large pots of water to boil.
Slice those mushrooms.
In a large non-stick skillet, throw in the spices. Toast on low heat for about a minute.
4) Melt butter in the pan of spices. Add mushrooms and cook them down. Set aside.
5) Remove ends of stems from asparagus and throw those into the compost.
6) Remember those pots of water? They should be boiling by now. Sling the asparagus bits into one of those. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until bright green and tender, but not God-awful soggy.
7) I forgot to mention this earlier, because I’m not the most sequential person, but you need to peel the shrimp, rip off their tails, and rinse them in a colander in the sink.
8) Heat olive oil in a skillet and grill shrimp about 45 secs on each side. Turn off heat and let them cook a little further in cooling oil.
9) Now introduce the Angel Hair Pasta to the other pot of boiling water. Pasta, meet Pot. Pot, meet Pasta. Give them about 2-3 minutes to work it out. Angel hair should be al dente. Drain it in that colander.
10) Now take all that stuff: the mushrooms, the asparagus, the shrimp and the pasta, and toss them in a big pot together. Add the cheese, and salt and pepper, and yep, more cheese and salt and pepper, until you got a thing going on.
11) Serve with a perky green salad and the apocalyptic beverage of your choice. Sit down with your Plague Buddy to enjoy over the sort of scintillating conversation that naturally bubbles up after 48 hours of close proximity and high anxiety.
12) There is no twelve, other than doing the dishes. Enjoy!