Sometimes, when I’m far from home and in a new place, surrounded by strangers, foreign languages, and unfamiliar surroundings, all I want to do is cook. There’s something about wandering into the local market, buying ingredients, and putting together a meal that makes you feel at home anywhere.
We did a good amount of cooking on my recent European trip with Kaitlin and our cousin, Kim. It was an awesome way to save money at a time when we were practically hemorrhaging it on plane tickets and bottled water, but it was also an awesome way to ground ourselves as we hopped from one city or country to the next. When ended up in Santorini on our trek through Greece (the third stop on our trip after Munich and Prague), and it was definitely one of our favorite stops on the entire trip.
The strategy was simple. Bypass the hostels (which are EXPENSIVE, if you’re traveling in a group––at 25-40 bucks a pop), and go for apartment living. We booked most of our trip on Airbnb, but in Santorini, we found this great little place called Anna Traditional Apartments. I’m shamelessly plugging this place in this post, because Anna and her husband Elias were so awesome.
They picked us up at the airport, and personally drove us to Kamari Beach or Fira (where we could catch buses to spots around the rest of the island) every day. The apartments are a bit out of the way by the airport, but the hospitality was amazing. Another great thing about the place was the fact that there was a small kitchen in the apartment, with a 2-burner electric stove, some pots and pans, dishes, and cutlery. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to cobble together a pretty great dinner on our second night in Santorini.
We picked up some herbs, sweet cherry tomatoes, a lemon, a head of garlic, a box of pasta, a little bottle of capers, and a bottle of local white wine. Everything we needed for dinner outside on the terrace with the ocean in front of us. The great thing about this spaghetti with tomatoes, capers, and herbs is that it’s extremely easy to throw together. If we can do it in a tiny apartment kitchen (the extent of the cooking area was probably only four or five feet across), photograph it, and record it here anyone can pull off this recipe.
We were living large on the cheap. And it was awesome.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the capers and cherry tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring the heat up to medium high and cook for a minute. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, mint, lemon zest, and juice. Toss in the pasta until everything is well incorporated. Serve!