The end result. Mmmm, tasty. photo by Conner Maggio

Conner’s cooking corner: “Drunken Pasta”

Who says you have to eat like a rat while in college? With my help, you can feast like a king.

Hello friends, it’s Conner, chef extraordinaire. And I will teach you the hidden art of pasta. The main thing to remember here is that everything is substitutable, and if you do everything the way I do it, you will suck at cooking. Cooking is an art, and nobody got good at art from copying others, except all those renaissance guys.

Here is the ingredient list:

1 package pasta (preferably fettuccine noodles)
1 full glass of wine (any red wine will do. Also substitutable with any stock or flavored liquid)
5 cloves garlic (remember when I said everything was substitutable? I lied)
Basil (get fresh basil for this — my ancestors will be upset with you if you do not)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 pot
1 pan

This is a garlic-and-oil-based pasta that’s finished with wine. It’s a traditional Italian dish, meaning that it is designed to have few ingredients that are balanced perfectly.

Step one: Grab your pan and make the pasta water as salty as the ocean, preferably one of the more saltier oceans. This is because the pasta will absorb the salt and become more flavorful and less boring. This is what Italians do, so just do it. Go ahead and get that to a rolling boil and add your pasta for whatever time the box says minus 40 seconds. Remember not to break the pasta. This is really a complicated metaphor for the United States’ experience with other cultures; instead of understanding, they just destroy it for no good reason. If the pasta doesn’t fit in the bowl, wait until it’s soft, and then push it down.

Step two: crush your garlic, and add to a pan of olive oil. The olive oil will act as a base in this pasta, so make sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan for full effect. Make sure to set this at a medium heat, and do not let the garlic burn. Add any additional herbs or spices that you want with the oil now to fuse the oil and spice. A good example would be red pepper flakes or thyme.

Step three: take the pasta out once it is mostly done cooking, and add it to the oiled pan. At this point, add enough wine to cover about half the pasta to finish the cooking. After the liquid is evaporated, add some black pepper, and finish by placing some basil leaves on the pasta. And as a final final touch, add some fresh olive oil. This will add a fruity quality to the pasta that cooked olive oil does not provide.

And that is the simplest pasta you could possibly make, besides the kind without any sauce. It’s a beautiful traditional pasta that you can really add anything to. Bacon? Sure why not. Spinach? I have, it’s delicious! Cheese? No, not that — traditionally you wouldn’t add cheese to an oil-based pasta. Other than that, you are the master of the pasta. And as always, please don’t start a fire because I think I’d be held liable.

Post Author: Conner Maggio