Quitters never win, but sometimes winners make the entire package of pasta out of sheer noodle-based gluttony and then, well, what are you going to do with half a pound of perfectly good cacio e pepe? Throw it out? Give up on your dreams?
Fritatta is something I can never spell right on the first try, but it just means “fried” in Italian. The Pinterest People are posting recipes for “easy frittata” that start with frying bacon and wilting spinach and chopping healthy things like butternut squash and beets and arugula, but to me a frittata is always the answer to “how can I de-sog this pasta”, and also “how can I make something tasty in 15 minutes or less without trying that hard.”
Fritattas where you have to do a bunch of work are, not to put too fine a point on it, dumb. I’m not chopping extra stuff or finishing anything under the broiler to make what is essentially a glorified omelette. Fritattas are about two things: the cheap thrill of successfully flipping an entire pan of leftover pasta, and elevating your sad soggy leftovers into a crispy treat.
The Columbia University campus exists in what I like to call a “lunchbreak wasteland.” Luckily, in the basement of the arts and architecture library there is a small and shitty cafeteria called Brownies and on Monday they serve a sausage and kale soup.
Is this the world’s greatest soup? No. But while Wednesday’s tomato bisque and Friday’s broccoli cheddar undoubtedly get glorped out of massive industrial soup-pouches delivered by the good folks at Sodexho, I believe this one is a Brownies Original. What corporation would mass-produce an aggressively spicy soup with lentils, sweet potatoes, kale, and enough Italian sausage to make getting through your afternoon classes a real gastrointestinal challenge? Who decided these ingredients worked together? It had to be a personal choice, and that’s what made it my favorite.
I haven’t lived in New York for two years, but this Monday I suddenly had to have this deeply visually unprepossessing but comfortingly hearty soup. All I had were some Sainsbury’s own-brand sausages, some elderly potatoes, and a dream.