I have been sick for about three weeks with a slow moving head cold. It has been the month of the stuffy nose for me. And when you can’t smell well, you can’t taste much either, as I’m sure you know. As a result, I pretty much lost my appetite for a few weeks, but when I did decide that I wanted to eat I had an odd craving for white food. Chicken noodle soup, pasta, yogurt, toast – they were all major components of my virus-induced diet.
Now that I’m finally on the mend, with the help of some antibiotics, I’m craving healthy foods like greens and colorful veggies. It’s one of those things where I’m listening to my body and it’s telling me it needs some good, nutritious food. Still, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes, whether I’m sick or not. It’s one of those white foods, but it is very tasty and customizable to whatever you like. Pasta with bread crumbs might sound odd if you have never had tried it before, but trust me, the silky pasta highlighted with crunchy, buttery crumbs is a sublime pairing. It’s also quick, easy and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry. This is the perfect meal for days when you are busy, but suddenly realize you are hungry and have no idea what to cook.
What kind of foods do you eat when you’re sick or too busy to spend much time cooking?
- 1 serving of dried pasta - whatever you have on hand (anything from egg noodles to rotini will work)
- At least ¼ cup of crumbs - fresh bread crumbs, panko, seasoned bread crumbs, or even cracker crumbs
- Optional seasonings- hot pepper flakes, capers, chopped olives, herb seasoning blend, grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to directions. Replacing the water with broth or adding a bouillon cube to the water adds a lot of flavor. If I don't have either of those I use seasoning salt, instead of plain salt, in the water. While the pasta cooks melt a pat of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbly, add the crumbs. I always keep dried, seasoned bread crumbs in my cupboard, but you can use panko or fresh crumbs. Crushed cracker crumbs also work well. Toast the crumbs in the butter. Add any seasonings, like an Italian herb blend or red pepper flakes, to the crumbs. When the pasta is done, drain well and put in a bowl. Top with a bit more butter, if you'd like, then sprinkle with toasted crumbs.
- Quick and easy version: Cook your pasta. When it is drained top with a pat of butter and a handful of crushed Ritz crackers. Season with salt and pepper.
This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads