Pasta should be required by law to be in everyone's pantry. Granted, I'm sure the legislature would have to debate the definition of "pantry" for a few weeks to pass the law, but it would be good for everyone. While nothing beats fresh pasta, dried is an alternative that has pretty much supplanted the original in the American culinary lexicon. Just think of it as more cost- and time-effective. I usually have at least two kinds of dried pasta hanging around at any given time. Today I chose the linguine for no other reason than I had half a pound sitting around. In the last couple minutes of cooking, I added some broccolini cut into two inch pieces to blanch it. While the pasta and broccolini were draining, I toasted some walnuts in olive oil and garlic, then tossed the pasta and broccolini in with this, and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Something that I always forget to do which makes a huge difference with something like this dish is to reserve some of the pasta water before draining it. My linguine came out good with all of the simple, straightforward flavors and textures, but the pasta was a little dry. The reserved pasta water can help to keep it all moist. Now I just have to remember to stop myself before losing all of the pasta water's beautiful starchiness down the drain. But other than that, pasta with a few simple ingredients is a great way to go, especially during the work week. So leave the canned tomato sauce in the cupboard and revitalize pasta with your favorite ingredient, be it vegetable, meat, cheese, nut, fruit, herb, or spice.
5 years ago