This quick pasta dish is my go-to meal when I haven’t made it to the grocery store, but need to produce something flavorful and filling. I always have a patch of parsley growing and I’ve even been known to trudge out into the snow to pick it. Everything else is a staple at my house, so this pasta is a sure thing. While I call it “Last Resort Pasta,” it’s something that always sounds good and is a hit with my lunch crowd.
- Pasta (any shape — but I think I like it best with angel hair or spaghetti)
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or your favorite Italian cheese)
- salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
Put water to a boil. Don’t skimp on the H20. If you do, your pasta won’t have room to swim and it will tend to show its displeasure by sticking together in a glutinous mass. Add the pasta to the ample supply of boiling water and cook for the amount of time indicated on the box. Or, if you have the luxury of having fresh pasta, remember that it cooks very quickly, so take it out as soon as it is ready.
While your water is coming to a boil and your pasta is cooking, get out the remaining ingredients and a big skillet. Heat up the pan over medium heat. After the pan is hot, put in your butter and olive oil, followed shortly thereafter by the garlic. You want to saute the garlic slightly, but do not allow it to get brown. If it cooks too long, it will be bitter and you will get a reputation for being a miserable cook.
When the pasta is done, drain it through a colander. Put the drained pasta into the skillet with your olive oil/butter/garlic mixture. Toss it around with tongs. Add salt and pepper.
Just before serving, add the parsley and toss again, reserving a little to put on top as garnish. Top it with your pretty shredded cheese once you plate it. (Don’t add the cheese while the pasta is in the hot skillet. It will turn it into one big gooey mess.)