Making Pasta Less Ordinary (aka “The Importance of Sourcing Unique Market Ingredients” Post)

Memo: Pasta at home, from a box, does not have to suck. And it certainly doesn’t require being drenched in generic sauce from a jar. Promise.

Erin’s Easy Pasta Less Ordinary
Serves 1

1/8th box vermicelli pasta, or whatever you have on hand (I used De Cecco brand)
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 small tomato, diced
1/3 zucchini, chopped
fresh lemon juice
E.V.O.O.
fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 exceptional ingredient*

*Here’s your first tip: All it takes is one exceptional ingredient — in this case, I used this jar of Tonnino tuna fillets packed in olive oil that I found at my local health store — to make a quick pasta meal just a touch special.

Capers (optional)
Parmesan cheese, shavings (optional)

1.) While the pasta cooks, saute the garlic over medium heat for a minute or two; add the tomato and zucchini. Cook until mixture is warm throughout but not mush.

2.) Drain the pasta and place into a bowl. Top with the saute mixture.

3.) Drizzle dish with fresh lemon juice and premium E.V.O.O. (I’m currently working my way through a small bottle of Arbequina E.V.O.O. from Agata & Valentina)

4.) Add tuna fillets (break up in advance), chopped parsley. Repeat drizzle of E.V.O.O. and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

5.) Gently toss to mix pasta and ingredients.

6.) sprinkle dish with capers*, Parmesan slices.

*Here’s your second tip: Capers — those lovely, briny, green berries — are pasta’s best friend, esp. if the pasta is “nude” like this one (e.g. without sauce).

They will add a certain complexity to the dish, as well as the element of delicious surprise. A $3 jar will last for months. They make bagels extra-special, too. Basically, there is no excuse to not have capers on hand.

Tag … you’re it!

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