I had a crazy busy day yesterday. The kind where you don’t sit down from the time you wake up at 7:00 a.m. until you go to bed at 10:30 p.m. And I did not feel 100% today. And I was on my own for dinner. And I was too tired to cook, but neither a frozen meal nor a sandwich would cut it.
All these things factored together make it the perfect night to bust out some comfort food! Normally I would want something gooey or chocolaty, but not tonight. Tonight it was the simple things and just a few of them! If you use really good ingredients, you don’t need lots of them.
So here’s the formula:
Imported pasta + a small pat of butter + freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano + cracked black pepper = heaven!
Let’s analyze the ingredients.
1. Imported pasta – I know there are people out there who cannot possibly fathom paying more than $1.00 for pasta. They are couponers who believe all dried pastas are the same. NOT TRUE! I guess growing up on handmade pasta has made me a little fussy (or a lot fussy) about the kind of pasta I eat. My favorite brand is La Fabbrica Della Pasta. It has a great flavor and a comforting starchy goodness. The sauce (if you’re having it) adheres nicely to it – it doesn’t slip off!
2. Butter – Less is more, but some it good!
3. Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano – NO, I am not referring to the junk in the green can. I am talking about the nutty, salty real deal – the cheese that if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life would be my choice. I give it a coarse grate and sprinkle it over the hot buttered pasta.
4. Cracked black pepper – I like it cracked or ground coarsely, but I use a gentle hand when adding it. You’re food shouldn’t taste like pepper, it should taste like what you are making; but I love how it creates a spark on the tip of my tongue.
For me, the pasta was heaven. It gave me the comfort I was craving, the illusion of having a home cooked meal (I can hardly say I cooked when all I did was boil water), and the easy clean up I love. It was exactly the kind of pasta Jeff wouldn’t appreciate because he likes his pasta like he likes his women – saucy!