Wednesday, January 14, 2009

waste-not, want-not: "noodle caboodle" (w/ lemon-garlic crunch)

noo-dle ca-boo-dle (noun) - the generic term for any make-shift pasta hobbled together by a non-italian;the coalescence of yesterday's pasta and last week's produce, an instant american-italian classic; comfort food borne from the frugalities and hardships of the failed american dream.

i don't throw away leftovers. ever. i can't afford to. i do my best to best utilize whatever i have on hand to the limit.

leftover pasta is a great vehicle for a plethora of make-shift "noodle caboodle" type dishes. this week i have 2 cups of cooked ditalini pasta leftover from a hearty batch of pasta e fagioli. i also have a can of tuna and a can of sweet peas that i stole from my mother's pantry.

let's see if i can make it happen.

"noodle caboodle"

yield ~1 qt

2 cups leftover ditalini pasta (any small pasta will do; elbows?)
1 (6oz) can of solid white albacore tuna, flaked
1/2 cup parsely, chopped
1/2 cup sweet peas (fresh or canned)
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 TBS parmesan, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

1. combine the leftover pasta, flaked tuna, peas, parsley, grated parmesan and chili flakes in a mixing bowl. toss to combine. add the olive oil and lemon juice. toss to combine. season with salt and pepper to taste.

-- top with 1 TBS of the lemon-garlic bread crumbs (recipe follows) and a dash of extra virgin olive oil; serve warm or at room temperature.

lemon-garlic bread crumbs
yield 1 cup

1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh bread crumbs*
1 TBS lemon zest
2 TBS parsely, chopped
1 TBS parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1. heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.

2. add garlic, saute over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to brown; 1-2 mins.

3. add fresh bread crumbs and toss to evenly distribute fat. saute over medium heat until crisp, shaking the pan often to keep the crumbs from burning; 4-8 minutes depending on personal preference.

4. add lemon zest, parsely and grated parmesan, toss to combine. remove from heat.

* making fresh bread crumbs is easy; cut the crust off of some white bread, place into a blender, food processor or coffee grinder and pulse.

- BONG!!!

© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -