BREAKING NEWS…BREAKING NEWS…BREAKING NEWS!
University of California, Davis researchers have found that drinking beer can help prevent weak bones.
You hear that Sally Fields? You can give it a rest now. My drinking buddies and I aren’t taking your Boniva…anymore.
To celebrate this life changing medical discovery, I decided to make a companion snack to my new beer diet regiment. The usual suspects came to mind…pretzels (which I will make some day but not this time), potato chips and/or maybe a ‘gourmet’ popcorn.
None of these options really struck my fancy. I wanted something different. Around the same time, I came across a recipe in Food & Wine magazine for an interesting way of turning pasta into a snack food.
Fettuccine & Wasabi ‘Breadsticks.’ This recipe called for frying cooked pasta until it takes on a crispy texture. They are unique, ridiculously easy to make and make a great party conversation piece. I was drawn to this recipe. It should be noted that as a person who grew up in Alabama, any recipe that starts by frying an ingredient that really doesn’t need to be deep fried is tops in my book.
Actually, the original Food & Wine magazine recipe called for Udon noodles and ground Nori. I liked the concept but it was a little too fancy smancy as a beer snack. And plus, I was way too lazy to go the market and hunt down Udon noodles. I also decided to add in a little heat with a dash of wasabi powder (oddly enough while I don’t have Udon noodles, I have lots of wasabi powder in the pantry).
I really like these babies. I think they are the ultimate party snack: crunchy, salty, with heat from the wasabi and best of all…fried.
As easy as they are, I have to admit, I had to cook a few of them before getting them just right. Here are a few things I solved through trial and error.
Don’t tie the knots too tight (they won’t cook). Don’t fry them extremely hard (you’ll get something with the texture of a brick). If you need to salt them again, do so right after they are fried (the salt adheres better). I would suggest making a few extra and cooking them one at a time until you get the technique just right. Enjoy.
FETTUCCINE & WASABI “BREADSTICK” KNOTS
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
30 strains of fettuccine
Vegetable oil, for tossing and frying
1 TSP wasabi powder (alternatively, you can use fine ground black pepper)
Kosher salt, to taste
In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the fettuccine noodles until they are cooked through and pliable, about 8-10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and transfer the pasta to a medium bowl. Gently toss the pasta with a teaspoon or so vegetable oil to keep them from sticking together. Lightly toss pasta with wasabi and Kosher salt to taste. (Add the wasabi powder a little at a time – tasting it as you go – to make sure that you season the pasta to your taste).
Take 3 fettuccine strands and carefully tie them in a loose knot near the end. Repeat with the remaining pasta. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Fry 2 of the fettuccine bundles at a time over moderately high heat, spreading the ends of the fettuccine out in a fan, until golden and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the bundles to paper towels to drain.