Ever wonder what’s going on at the bottom of your fridge drawer?
You know, where the flimsy carrots and celery hang out?
Mine is a mess. Always. And for some reason I think it’s OK to keep jamming stuff in there until the drawer dislodges from the hinge (those things are junk anyway). Then, on the rare occasion that I’m feeling particularly inspired, I clean said drawer.
Oh look… ginger! A sweet potato! A cheese stick! Mold!
It should have its own zip code.
Lucky for you, none of those things are in this recipe.
I did however, find some parsley lurking about.
Unlike cilantro, basil and other delicate herbs, parsley is a little more hearty. And when stored properly it will last about 1-2 weeks. I usually score a huge bunch for about $.99 year round. That’s way cheaper than those little plastic packs of herbs. In the spring and summer, I look forward to growing my own herbs (and so do the rabbits).
- ‘bouquet style’ in a jar with water
- wrapped in a damp paper towel in a ziploc bag
Both methods work. It just depends on how much room is in your fridge and where you want to put it.
But what I’m really trying to get at is this:
Parsley is so underrated!
Don’t you agree?
It’s not just a garnish! Poor thing- only used as a finishing touch to impart that ‘obligatory’ pop of green.
But when featured as an ingredient it tastes fantastic.
So, after rummaging through the fridge like a gopher, I made this simple dinner.
The inspiration comes from the traditional Italian dish, Aglio e Olio. It’s a basic pasta made with olive oil, lots of garlic, parsley and anchovies (oh, stop… you love anchovies). I didn’t have any so you’re in luck this time.
For the pasta, I chose fresh fettuccine. Every ingredient counts when making simple meals, so think quality. That’s not to say I’m against dried pasta. But fresh pasta is special. So special in fact, having it mid-week seems luxurious. It’s usually a restaurant thing for me. It cooks in about 3 minutes too! I had just enough time to run upstairs and change into my comfy pants before digging in.
And finally, to finish: artisan salami. It was buried underneath the parsley. I found one of those logs originally destined for a cheese plate, but instead, I sliced and scattered some over the top for a touch of salty flavor. If I had to do it again, I would use a good-quality deli salami. Sliced paper thin. It’s more complimentary to the thickness of the pasta.
And of course, you could easily swap the salami for pancetta or bacon too.
Super simple. That’s how I like to eat.
What do you like to cook during the week?
- 12-16 oz. fresh fettuccine pasta
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ cup thin sliced salami, deli style
- salt + pepper
- parmesan cheese, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch salt and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve a small mug of pasta water before you drain it; you'll use it for the sauce.
- Meanwhile, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds - 1 minute or so. You're looking for the garlic to be soft and tender, not brown. It will taste bitter. Remove from the heat.
- At this point, your pasta should be perfectly aldente. Go ahead and add it to the warm olive oil and garlic. If your skillet is too small to accommodate the pasta add the everything back to the empty pasta pot. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water. The key here is to keep mixing until the sauce becomes slightly thickened. Add more olive oil if necessary.
- Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, sprinkle the salami over each portion. Add parmesan cheese to taste.