a. I’ve just returned home from a trip and have no fresh groceries in the house
b. I’m home after a few cocktails and am in need of dinner #2 (or perhaps dinner #1 was skipped in the first place)
c. I need comfort food
Usually these conditions occur at or around midnight.
I always have dried pasta, olive oil, and bread crumbs in my pantry in addition to fresh garlic and grated cheese. Sometimes when I’m lucky, I’ll also have some bacon or pancetta and/or eggs in the fridge. Depending on the mix of ingredients I have, that’s the midnight pasta that lands in my belly. Recent combos have been pasta carbonara, elbows with butter and parmesan and black pepper, and presented here, whole wheat spaghetti with pecorino, garlic, and breadcrumbs. I encourage you to come up with your version of midnight pasta–it’s always good for what ails you: jet lag, drunkenness, or just good ole hunger.
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup Progresso seasoned breadcrumbs
red pepper flakes (add according to your spice level)
salt + pepper to taste
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1. Fill a large pot with water, salt heavily, bring to boil. Boil pasta until al dente, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, drain and set pasta aside.
2. In the same pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes until garlic starts to brown.
3. Add the pasta back to the pot with the oil mixture. Add the pecorino cheese. Start stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and slowly start adding the pasta water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until a creamy texture is achieved and the cheese starts to melt. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Finally stir in bread crumbs. Serve hot.
Note: You could easily add steamed broccoli and lemon zest to this dish if you want to get your veggies in.