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Source of Merlin's beloved "Bachelor Pasta" recipe


“Pasta.” The Modern Man's Guide to Life, by Denis Boyles et al., Harper & Row, 1987, pp. 450–451.

How to cook pasta: Salted water boils faster, so put a teaspoonful of salt in a gallon or so of water and bring it to a rolling boil. At this point, you can add a little olive oil to the water if you want. It seems to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Break the spaghetti in half and let it fall gradually out of your hand and into the water. Try to allow the sticks to fall horizontally, and not in a big, lopsided pile. Give the water a stir and let it boil uncovered until it's cooked.

When's that? When it sticks to the wall it's done, at which time you pour the pasta into a colander, rinse it very briefly with cold water to stop the cooking process and return it to the pot.

Five Good Pasta Dishes:

One for every mood and every moment, one for you.

  1. Late-night Bachelor Pasta: Cook up some number-eight elbow noodles, and just before they're done, add part of a can of peas (but not the pea juice). Drain the pasta, put in a quarter-stick of butter, sprinkle some garlic powder on it and drown the whole thing in Romano cheese. Stir it all up and eat it. Tastes best right out of the pot. (DB)

  2. Spaghetti or Noodles Alfredo: After the pasta's been drained and returned to the pot, add a half stick of butter and a quarter cup of cream, a half cup of grated Parmesan, a dash of pepper and some nutmeg. No salt. Stir and serve four. (JYF)

  3. Pasta Carbonara all'Americana: You can use spaghetti or noodles with this dish. The way it works is you cook four or five strips of bacon and beat an egg while the pasta's cooking. When the bacon's done, take it out and put it on a paper towel someplace, but leave the fat in the pan. Turn off the heat. After you've cooked and drained the pasta, put it in the pan with the bacon fat and mix it all up. Then you add the bacon, the egg and some Parmesan cheese, maybe a half cup. Put a lot of pepper on it and serve to four. (NLN)

  4. The No-Boil, Never-Fail, Gets-You-Laid Lasagna Recipe: Not that our contributor makes any promises, mind you. Still, it might pay to get

  • four or five cups of spaghetti sauce ready, along with
  • a half pound of lasagna noodles,
  • a pound of ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese, in a pinch),
  • eight ounces or so of shredded mozzarella cheese and
  • a cup of grated Parmesan.

Spread a cup of sauce across the bottom of a baking pan (13" x 9" × 2" or something close) and arrange half the uncooked lasagne over the sauce and pour a cup of sauce over the lasagne. Then in consecutive layers, add the ricotta, the Parmesan and the mozzarella, another cup of sauce, then the other half of the lasagne followed by more sauce, then the same trio of cheeses again. The idea is to make layers of sauce on either side of the lasagne. The final order, from bottom to top: sauce, noodles, sauce, ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, sauce, noodles, sauce, ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella. Bake it at 350° for 45 or 50 minutes, then take it out and let it sit for a quarter hour. Al dente every time. (NW)

Well, not exactly: When we tested this in the MMBK, we split on the merits of the dish. One of us liked it, one of us didn't hate it and one of us did (he thought the pasta tasted raw). None of us got laid, though.

5. 'Ghetti Oil: Drop a half-cup of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of paprika into a wooden salad bowl that's been rubbed with garlic. Add hot, boiled spaghetti and cover with a quarter-cup of heated olive oil. Toss for two. (AW)

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