As a comedian and actress, Iliza Shlesinger thrives with an audience. Which is why her quarantine time has been spent working on a rather timely pivot: an Instagram cooking show she spun up with her husband, Noah Galuten, an LA-based chef. With 63 episodes and counting, Don’t Panic Pantry is serious stuff: a week’s worth of recipes released in advance, complete with ingredient lists, means you can actually cook along — especially since the recipes rely, thankfully, mostly on pantry staples.
That includes the couple’s so-called Late-Night Drunken Pantry Pasta, which Shlesinger describes thusly: “Back when I used to go to bars (remember bars?) and meet up with friends, I would occasionally wind up home and hungry with an empty fridge. This pasta was one of my favorites; thrown together with stuff I had on hand – a starchy, umami-rich mixture of pasta, butter, soy sauce, chili flakes and Parmesan, occasionally brightened up with a little lemon.”
It’s got interesting flavors, but it’s not too hard to make or requiring of a ton of attention. As Shlesinger puts it, “It’s super easy, super satisfying, and frankly, a little blurry.” For Eater at Home, the couple brought their panic-free energy to Eater’s Instagram to demonstrate.
Late-Night Drunken Pantry Pasta
About 12 ounces of short, dried pasta (this actually works really well with egg noodles, too)
About 3 tablespoons of butter
About 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
Some chili flakes or ichimi or shichimi
A couple grinds of black pepper
Some Parmesan to finish
Any other pantry tidbits you want to throw in, like:
Bring your water to a boil. You only need enough to barely cover the pasta – the goal here is to keep the water nice and starchy so that it will help emulsify the butter and soy sauce with the pasta. Cook the pasta until very al dente (about a minute undercooked).
Then drain and **SAVE THE PASTA WATER** (very important). Quickly add the butter and soy sauce to the pan with a little splash of your chili flakes/ichimi/shichimi and black pepper, as well as whatever other seasonings you want to throw in. Once the butter has melted and combined, add the pasta and a splash of pasta water back into the pan. Add a little of the Parmesan as well and cook quickly, stirring constantly and adding more water as needed, until the pasta is al dente (or cooked to your liking).
Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed.
Serve in bowls, topped with additional Parmesan cheese and maybe a little nori (seaweed) if you’re feeling wild. Enjoy! Stay safe. #flattenthecurve.