+
Home Cooking

Diagnose My Flat-Tasting Pasta

Jim Leff | Jan 12, 201206:27 PM     29

I chopped some meat cut off a couple chicken thighs, and tossed that plus the meaty bones into a hot Cuisinart 3-1/2-Quart saute pan containing a tablespoon of olive oil and half a chopped onion sauteed soft.

I added two carrots sliced fine, sprinkled in a good amount of pepper, some salt, Spanish smoked paprika, and some Penzey's crushed jalapeño.

I let it sautee a while, then added some Trader Joe's chicken stock and covered (probably too soon; see note at bottom)

Meanwhile, I started boiling a couple handfuls of small-ish pasta.

After a few mins, I added (to the saute pan) some bite-sized cut-up asparagus and broccolini, and grated in a good amount of fresh ginger. I added more chicken broth, which unfortunately cooled the pan. It took a while to get back to simmer. Covered again.

I cooked the pasta a minute short, drained most of the water, and threw pasta and a few TBS of cooking water into the saute pan. I added a bit of sherry vinegar, cranked the heat, and stirred aggressively for a minute. And served (finished with a drizzle of some good EVOO).

And...it was just ok. Like every pasta dish I've ever made, it was flat and zingless. No Italian soul at all (and I grew up in an Italian nabe....thought I was Italian, in fact, for most of my childhood).

Can anyone figure out where I went wrong? I know I could have added garlic (I was out of it), mushrooms...there were lots of things I could have added to make it a slightly different dish. But I've added garlic and other stuff in the past, to little effect. So I'm asking a bigger question: where am I going wrong, generally?

Two observations on my end: I regret killing the simmer with all that cold chicken broth (I should have added more gradually), and I probably should have gone further with the chicken/onion saute, and deglazed before adding broth and finishing with a braise.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

You'll Have Zero Beef with These Delicious Veggie Burgers
Recipe Round-Ups

You'll Have Zero Beef with These Delicious Veggie Burgers

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy | Interest in veggie burgers has been rising for a while now (along with the general surge in plant...

5 Guacamole Mistakes You’re Making
Guides

5 Guacamole Mistakes You’re Making

by Dan Koday | Guac seems simple, but there are many ways it can go wrong—hence, these tips on how to make the best...

Upgrade Your Taco Tuesday with These Fresh Fruit Salsas
Recipe Round-Ups

Upgrade Your Taco Tuesday with These Fresh Fruit Salsas

by Jen Wheeler | Looking for a way to liven up your Taco Tuesday—or any summer dinner? Want something more than a sauce...

The Crispiest Fish Tacos Depend on a Surprising Secret Ingredient You'll Never Guess
Food News

The Crispiest Fish Tacos Depend on a Surprising Secret Ingredient You'll Never Guess

by Amy Schulman | Esteban Castillo was raised in Santa Ana, California, surrounded by palm trees and a population that...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.