It is hot, hot, hot in New York City during the summer and I am all about spending as little time as possible over a stove. Pasta is something I never got too excited about until this summer because it always seemed bland to me. I have been experimenting with new recipes that taste delicious and minimize cooking time, so I have changed my tune about pasta for dinner.

This one is a creation of Mark Bittman’s, the Minimalist from the New York Times. It is tasty, quick, and something you can make should the apocalypse come leaving you with only basic cooking supplies. If you happen to be working with only 12″ of counter space and no measuring utensils, this recipe is even better for you!

The original video to this recipe can be found here and I suggest you watch it. Mark Bittman is always entertaining and very approachable when it comes to explaining how to cook his dishes. Here is the basic gist:

  • Cook pasta noodles for two large servings in salted water according to the package
  • Meanwhile, saute 1/4 c. break crumbs in 2 T. olive oil until crisp and light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Place toasted bread crumbs in a bowl and set aside.
  • Add another 1-2 T. of olive oil to the pan and saute one chopped white onion until softened, about five minutes
  • Add about 1 tsp lemon zest (or 2 T. lemon juice), 2 T. capers, and one can of sardines packed in olive oil and heat until just warm
  • When pasta is done cooking, reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water. Add pasta and 1/4 c. chopped parsley to the sardine mixture and toss. Add in some of the reserved water if needed so the noodles are shiny and well-coated.
  • Dish onto plates, add bread crumbs to the top. Eat with a big green salad, sliced baguette and enjoy!
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Written by Renee Wilkinson