Sports can make you a nervous eater. Salt is good. Crunch is even better.

Unfortunately plain chips –  while delicious — don’t quite give the full emotional satisfaction of a hard crunch and aren’t filling enough to signal any sort of “stop you’ve had enough!” reaction until you’ve consumed the whole bag watching Peyton Manning being sacked for about the twentieth time. Seasoned corned chips are better this way, but are covered with so much salt you don’t taste anything after about fifteen minutes and you may as well just go eat the rock salt in the garage. (Not that I’ve ever done that, but let me say that if you do try it, make sure it’s the plain rock salt and not the kind that has chemicals added to it for easier ice melting. Not that I’ve ever done that.)

This is why pasta chips are great for stressed sports eaters like myself.  They have a thick, hard crunch with heat from the red pepper flakes, depth from the thyme and rosemary, brightness from basil and just enough salt to balance out your drink.

I cannot recall the name of the bar where I first had these in Florida, but they were so addicting I didn’t order a single thing the rest of the night. Over the years of making these at home, this is as close as I’ve ever come to matching what I first tasted more than a decade ago.

Pasta Chips:

You will need:

1 pound short pasta, like farfalle, rigatoni or rotini
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying

Cook the pasta according to package directions (not all brands are the same cooking times!), and add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pasta water when boiling. You want your pasta just a touch past al dente or your pasta chips will be too firm.

While the pasta is cooking, crush together the remaining salt, the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary and garlic powder either with a mortar and pestle or in a small bowl using either a flat-bottomed cocktail muddler or the back of a large spoon.

Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water immediately and then toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Yes, I can hear what you’re saying, “Rinse off pasta? But the starches and the stuff and those things need to stick to your pasta and Alton Brown and what? ” You don’t need to worry about that nonsense. You’re about to fry the pasta and you don’t want your pasta sticking together when it goes in the hopper.

In a large skillet or cast iron pan (or a deep fryer if that’s your thing), heat the oil to 375º over medium heat. Working in batches, add about a cup of pasta at a time and fry until golden, giving it a good turn or stir with a fry basket as it cooks to prevent it from sticking together.

Once golden, remove from oil and drain on clean paper towels and toss with a small amount of the seasoning mixture. Repeat until all of the pasta has been toasted and toss the whole batch with any remaining seasoning.

Can be made a day or two ahead of serving.

You might also like: Dips and Spreads, Maple Sage Sweet Potato Chips, Cheddar Herb Chips.

Google Voice number available for emergency recipe questions and texts (323) 963-4756, 9 AM PT – 10 PM PT, Saturday and Sundays.

Pasta Chips: Football Foodie Snacks
Print
Recipe type: snack
Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound short pasta, like farfalle, rigatoni or rotini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-3 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions (not all brands are the same cooking times!), adding 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pasta water when boiling. You want your pasta just a touch past al dente or your pasta chips will be too firm.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, crush together the remaining salt, the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary and garlic powder either with a mortar and pestle or in a small bowl using either a flat-bottomed cocktail muddler or the back of a large spoon.
  3. Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water immediately and then toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. In a large skillet or cast iron pan (or a deep fryer if that’s your thing), heat the oil to 375º over medium heat.
  5. Working in batches, add about a cup of pasta at a time and fry until golden, giving it a good turn or stir with a fry basket as it cooks to prevent it from sticking together.
  6. Once golden, remove from oil and drain on clean paper towels and toss with a small amount of the seasoning mixture.
  7. Repeat until all of the pasta has been toasted and toss the whole batch with any remaining seasoning.
Notes

Can be made a day or two ahead of serving.

 

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