Almost every recipe I create on Cooking at Home, that doesn’t involve the precise measuring required in baking, is inspired by something that’s known as “cooking by hand.”
What I mean by that is that, with a base understanding of techniques and flavor combinations, one doesn’t have to follow a recipe line by line…if at all. To me, cooking should be based more on instinct and feeling and not so much on exact amounts and specific ingredients. Any recipe could and should be nothing more than an inspiration, a starting point.
Only you know what your likes and dislikes are. Feel free to substitute vegetables, proteins, or seasonings in just about any recipe. Use what you have on hand, in amounts that you like. Take a good look around your pantry and into your refrigerator and use what you find to make your meal.
Trust your eye and your instinct when preparing and combining amounts of things for pastas, soups, salads, side dishes, etc. Understand that some things will take longer to cook than others and assemble and cook your meal accordingly.
Don’t forget to listen, smell and taste as you go. Don’t stop reading and exploring new recipes but don’t be afraid to find your own way within those recipes.
You’ll see, your hands know what to do.