Leave it to Martha and her people to come up with the idea of frying pasta. (It’s quite possible they weren’t the first ones to add pasta to hot oil but it was their site where I first saw it which is why I am giving them credit).
Seriously, genius. Pasta=good. Frying=good. Pasta+frying= double good – which just might be the same as a double rainbow.
In Martha’s version she uses bow tie pasta and adds Parmesan, lemon zest and chives. Sounds great right? But I went another direction – I am horrible at following directions, well, it’s more that I just don’t like to do what other people are doing but that’s a whole other topic probably more suitable for me laying on a Chaise lounge along side my therapist taking copious notes – if I had a therapist.
The only bow ties in my house were the ones my husband wears (he’s so fashionable) so I chose penne instead. I also wanted something kind of spicy so I threw in cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. The resulting crispy snack was like crunching into the most satisfying chips. The thick exterior of the pasta was immediately dotted with tiny bubbles once is hit the hot oil creating a shattering crunch. The salty spice rub gave the pasta a Mahogany coat of sweet and fiery flavor.
Martha had the brilliant idea but I, as Emeril would say, kicked it up a notch. I’m pretty sure she would approve and I think you will also.
inspired by Martha Stewart
Crunchy, fried penne makes a wonderfully unique snack perfect for pairing with cocktails.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you need more heat in your life)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
8 oz penne pasta
3-5 cups oil
Par cook the penne in boiling salted water for 7 minutes. Immediately drain the pasta and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Place cooled pasta on several sheets of paper towel to drain off excess water.
In a small bowl combine all the seasonings with the exception of the fresh thyme.
In a medium sauce pan add enough oil to come up the sides of the pan by 3-4″. Once oil reaches 365-375* begin frying par cooked pasta in small batches (10-15 noodles at a time).
With a spider or a slotted spoon carefully move the pasta in the hot oil to ensure even cooking. Remove the fried penne once golden (1 1/2-2 minutes per batch) and place on a platter with several layers of paper towel. Immediately sprinkle some of the spiced mixture on the hot pasta so the salt and spices cling to the penne.
Continue frying until all the penne has had a chance to bathe in oil. When ready to serve sprinkle the fresh thyme all throughout. Well sealed, fried penne can keep for up to one week.