Gas Station Cuisine: Introduction and Broccoli Spinach Pasta

Bilge Sen

You haven’t been to the supermarket in a week, it's raining, you have 3 papers to read and you think you just saw a cockroach crawl from underneath your fridge. Your kitchen is a borderline health violation, you’re struggling, you might as well just have a cigarette for breakfast. There are random ingredients in the pantry and you need to whip up something simple without compromising on the taste (or on your wallet).

Sounds familiar?

Welcome home, to the Gas Station Cuisine.

This recurring column aims to provide you with tasty, hearty and nutritious plant-based meals that you can apply to your own daily kitchen encounters. We keep it simple, with a focus on how to create something edible from limited ingredients or from items you already own. The Gas Station Cuisine is the embodiment of struggle filtered through a sparkly filter of taste. Our recipes are aimed mainly at students and other busy people who want to take care of themselves while not wanting to spend 20e for every damn meal. Occasionally we may get a bit more fancy (for those times when you want to impress) or we may try to create something a little more complex to satisfy the neediest critics. But primarily, the Gas Station Cuisine is here to slap you in the face in order to prevent you from having spaghetti a la salt for breakfast, lunch and dinner once again.

To start out strong, let me introduce you to our first recipe, the staple, the enigma, the dish that inspired this column in the first place and cures the nastiest comedowns – broccoli spinach pasta.

Broccoli Spinach Pasta

The original Italian version of this pasta basically only uses broccoli, olive oil and salt and pepper. I’ve tweaked that icon a bit by adding spinach and cream to the mix, just to make it a bit more nutritious. This is the kind of meal you prepare when you have that realization of needing to get your life in order again (AKA when being hungover as fuck or after living off of toast for way too long again).


 Linguine / spaghetti
500g frozen or 1-2 heads of fresh broccoli, the more the better
A few handfuls of spinach, frozen or fresh
½-1 pack of oat cream
1-3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper

1. Boil the broccoli for ~10min in salted water.
2. Meanwhile, fry some garlic in olive oil on a frying pan. I use around 3 big garlic cloves, you can use less or more depending on your preference.
3. Add spinach to the pan.
4. Transport the cooked broccoli from the pot to the pan without draining out the water.
5. Cook the pasta in the broccoli water. Meanwhile, stir the broccoli-spinach-garlic mix until the broccoli is mushy.
6. Add salt, pepper and oat cream to the broccoli mix. Depending on your preference, you can add some pasta water to the sauce to make it more runny, or more cream or olive oil to make it thicker.
7. Add the cooked pasta to the broccoli sauce. Done!

And just like that, you’ve learned to cook a staple meal that holds the power to regenerate your life energy in real times of need. Great work, keep it up, proud of you!

Visuals by Kateryna Skipochka