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Monday, October 17, 2016

Pasta Plus

Pasta Plus
 I had a tooth pulled the other day.  It was a molar which had a root canal done years ago, and had a gold cap.  It was loose, got infected and apparently was even cracked so it had to go.
It took only about five minutes to yank after my mouth was numbed up.  It stopped bleeding fairly quickly and hurt, but did not throb.  There was no need for any pain medication of the prescription kind. My mouth was sore and the dentist instructed me to only eat soft food.
Pasta is soft, and I have had very little pasta since I started a low carb, low sugar eating habit over a year ago.  This was the perfect excuse for one of my favorite dishes.  Elbow pasta, butter, two raw eggs that cook onto the drained hot pasta, bacon bits, peas, and stirred in with a few scoops of mushroom soup mix.  
Don’t judge, it happens to be delicious.
Mrs. C would not eat this dish, but she goes to work before dinner.
I fried up three strips of bacon, very crispy, microwaved a double handful of frozen peas, and got the pasta water boiling.  I pulled out an unopened box of elbows, and as I poured them into the boiling water dozens of tiny bugs floated to the top.
Crap!
Where do these things come from?  I’ve had them before on pasta boxes that had been opened for some time, not in unopened boxes.  Apparently the larva is in the pasta and if it is old enough they hatch. 
Gross.
Even grosser is I had no other pasta that was not over a year old.  There were bugs in every box, linguine, spaghetti, and rigatoni.  I tossed them all, but I was still hungry and had no other soft food, plus I really was looking forward to my pasta, egg, bacon, mushroom soup, and peas meal.
What would our starving frontier relatives of old have done?  That’s right, I skimmed those bugs out of the pot, stirred it up and skimmed some more.  I stirred and skimmed until I saw no more floaters, then I drained the pasta added my ingredients poured a glass of wine and enjoyed my dinner.
I probably did not skim off all the bugs.  I think I did, but…Hey, I was hungry. 
A little extra protein never hurt anyone.

29 comments:

  1. I'm saying nothing.. I got human skin in my cream cheese. Ugh - What do you call spaghetti that gets paid to have sex? Pastatute. - :)

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  2. Agree with your methods and agree with what Skip said. Truth be told, I have done something similar. I got rid of the bugs (in flour) before cooking. I figure anything that could hurt me from them would be long gone after the cooking.

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  3. Hey, it was cooked.

    Cooking kills anything.

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  4. Anything that could possibly have weevils (bread, crackers, flour, pasta, etc.) spends 24 hours in my freezer; haven't seen weevils in years!!

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  5. That meal sounds delicious. I never met a pasta, potato, or bread that I didn't like. I think I would have done the same in relationship to the bugs.

    betty

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  6. In the amount of time it took trying to find bug free pasta, you could have whipped up some noodles from scratch. I have thrown more buggy stuff away ... It happens, but just the thought of them floating around in there gives me the willies.

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  7. I'll dare to say the problem may not be the pasta, but the boxes. Cardboard boxes are printed with whatever the company wants on them, then stored flat in huge bales until wanted, then shaped into the boxes before being filled with pasta. The conditions the cardboard flats are kept in probably don't require the same hygiene rules that food storage does, so possibly the eggs of the bugs were in there somewhere.
    I've always bought pasta in cellophane bags and don't have any problems even with pasta that's quite old. There have been weevils (not bugs) in soft plastic bags or boxes of things such as dried breadcrumbs, the weevils are tiny spin cocoons, then hatch into pantry moths, also tiny. So when I buy things in soft plastic bags now, I tip the contents back and forth checking for 'webs' and if I see any, I don't buy that packet, or any other packet from that batch. I do take it to the front desk and inform the staff though.

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  8. Interesting and educational post but OMG I am sooooo thankful I never eat pasta. Cooked or uncooked I could never eat something with bugs in. Yuk!

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  9. Joe!! NO!!! Just no. You don't eat stuff that had bugs in it. I don't care how hungry you were. There's a Taco Bell down the street, I'm sure. They have soft burritos! Come on, I'm sure Mrs. C would have gone to the store for you if you had asked nicely! maybe could have bought you, oh...I don't know... a NEW box of pasta?? OMG please. Bugs are a huge no-no. Damn, don't make me come over there with new boxes of pasta. I can't sleep now. I'm just thinking of bugs. OMG

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  10. yup. i'd have done the same thing. what doesn't kill ya...

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  11. A fine example of a first world problem.
    But I have to say I was feeling barfy long before the bugs showed up.

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  12. There are folks in the world who wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of having so much food in the house it goes bad. Interesting solution to your problem...not sure I could have done that myself but, more power to you.

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  13. We keep all the flour type products in glass. I forgot about the pasta! Don't want to check.

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  14. No idea on the bugs, but what you describes sounds like a variation on Pasta ala Carbonara. It has eggs mixed with parmesan cheese, sauteed bacon pieces, sometime onions also sauteed. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and put on the sauteed bacon, stir the egg/cheese mixture just until it's sticking to the pasta well.

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    1. Exactly, except I have an aversion to the onion texture and never liked parmesan cheese, I still have a five year olds taste buds. I added the peas for color (plus I like peas) and the mushroom soup mix is stolen from a dish my mom made with just pasta and the soup mix (mom was not a creative cook) which was a favorite growing up. I'm pretty sure My depression era mom would not have thrown the pasta away, in the mean time i am following Fishducky's tip of freezing the pasta for a day or two.

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    2. Actually the green peas are part of the 'original' ingredients in some Italian cookbooks.
      I'll have to try the freezing the pasta thing.

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  15. And you think my diet is crazy!

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  16. One of my old favorites is to saute up a bunch of garlic (a whole bulb, more-or-less) and mushrooms in olive oil, then toss in spaghetti, and cover it with parmesan cheese (and now that you mention it, bacon bits would be really good, too). Mmmmmmmm. . .

    One time, I boiled up a bag of curly pasta, like the stuff in your picture, and when it was done, I noticed a bunch of pepper flakes in it. Well, I hadn't put any pepper in with the pasta, so I grabbed one of the flakes to inspect it, and lo and behold, it wasn't hard, like black pepper, but soft. When I put that fact together with the fact that a corner of the bag had a hole gnawed in it, I quickly deduced that these were not pepper flakes at all, but mouse poop. Didn't bother skimming off the black specks on that one; straight down the disposal. . . At least, I'm pretty sure that's what I did. . . ;)

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  17. That recipe actually sounds pretty good. I lived overseas and we always had bugs in everything and just skimmed and ate. As my husband says, the bugs are just eating what you are eating!

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  18. I've read that most pasta, rice and flour from grocery stores have eggs or critters in them. Like you, I'm having a similar situation and expect I'll be in a dental chair before long.

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  19. I can see you doing this and I was thinking when you found the bugs that you were probably going to do just what you did. I think I'm getting to know you and it's kind of scary. In a good way.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

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  20. I had that happen when I had company. Didn't have your courage though. Considering the FDA allows a hefty percentage (as far as I am concerned) of mold, larvae, rat hairs and insect legs in our food, what are a few bugs. At least your bugs were fresh, whole and not segments.

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  21. My friend Grace's grandmother tried, in 1942, to return some flour to the PX because, "it has bugs in it." She was told, "Sift it, lady, there's a war on!"

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  22. Your last line and Uncle Skip both have it right! Bon appetit!

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  23. I would have eaten it, too. I've heard those survivalist types actually eat bugs on purpose! In the big scheme of things I doubt you could even taste them anyway.

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  24. You are SO BRAVE! I mean for going to the dentist. The bug thing? Well...at least you skimmed them.

    I am really in no position to judge, as the woman who gave her toddler an unwrapped chewy granola bar that fell on the garage floor. The garage where the cats sleep. Let the record show that the boy CRIED for that same granola bar. So he got it.

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  25. Yumm! Protein, and you just washed it all away? for shame!

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  26. I'm with the people saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Protein does build muscles.

    What has me surprised is that you put CRISPY bacon into what is supposed to be SOFT food. Tsk tsk tsk.

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