We have been counting down since January for this week, for this month even. We have been researching museums and booking places to sleep and buying train tickets. We have been learning a little bit of Italian and studying maps. I have been on Google streetview so very much. And finally we have reached the week in which we have a folding table set up in our bedroom where we have begun piling toiletries and power converters and lists and clothes (and a tiny jar of peanut butter).
We’ve been trying to get ready this past week, but to be honest things have been a bit busier than we had expected. We had a wedding to travel to this weekend. We spent Friday night at a baseball game with friends. We had my parents over for dinner last night. Not that I’m complaining about any of these things. It’s just that suddenly the trip is upon us and I have yet to actually put a single thing into a suitcase.
And so meals like this are handy, adapted from Dinner a Love Story where it is called their “Back-Pocket Pasta with Herbs and Breadcrumbs.” And boy have I been pulling this out of my back pocket lately. It’s very much like pasta with olive oil and garlic (a meal we now eat so much that Gerrit hasn’t even opened a jar of tomato sauce in months), except with the nice addition of crunchy toasted breadcrumbs for some extra texture and almost sweet flavor and some herbs for freshness (and good thing too, because my thyme is out. of. control. this year).
Our plane leaves on Wednesday, and it seems almost cruel that a trip we have been planning for months is going to come down to 9ish days. I have a feeling they will be some of the most memorable 9ish days of our lives though.
I’m going to try to keep twitter and instagram fairly up to date while we’re away, as internet and a small data plan will allow. I have a couple of posts lined up for while I’m gone. And in the meantime, enjoy some pasta.
I make this almost identically to how I make pasta with garlic and olive oil (I like more garlic than the original Dinner a Love Story recipe calls for…and no onion, although you could certainly add it), except for at the end you scoop your pasta into a dish and toast some breadcrumbs to add in (I’ve used Panko and think it’s perfect). I’ve made this dish with both spaghetti and angel hair pasta, and I must say that I prefer the thinner angel hair for a bigger ratio of breadcrumbs to noodle.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 lb. pasta (such as spaghetti or angel hair)
1/3 cup olive oil
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
3-4 tablespoons chopped herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, etc.)
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the edges are beginning to turn slightly golden brown. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, and let the liquid simmer until it is reduced by about 1/3.
3. Add the pasta and the cheese and toss the pasta together. Scrape the pasta into a bowl and return the pan to the stove. Pour in the breadcrumbs and cooking, stirring frequently, until they are just beginning to turn golden brown.
4. Immediately pour the breadcrumbs into the pasta. Add the the chopped fresh herbs, and stir it all together. Serve immediately.