Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pasta: TV show/condiment recommendation

This post is a condiment recommendation inspired by the 2010 Korean television show, Pasta, now available on Netflix streaming. This delightful rom-com is about the misadventures of a young woman, Seo Yoo-kyung, as she strives to become a pasta cook in an Italian restaurant. I'm only a quarter of the way through its 20-episode run but I highly recommend this show, especially if you are looking for something addictive and silly to fill your holiday weekend.  
Pasta (2010) poster
I was smitten with episode 4, in which the Mr. Darcy-like chef lays down the following new kitchen rules:
1. No foie gras allowed on the menu. (Due to cruelty to animals!)
2. No spoons or bowls allowed for eating pasta.
3. No more hidden sugar allowed in sauces or in table pickles. Pickles are out altogether.

The kitchen staff is floored by the chef's dramatic proclamations, particularly number 3. The heroine Seo Yoo-kyung asks: "How can you eat pasta without pickle?" In attacking cucumber pickles, the chef is viewed as attacking kimchi, the national dish, and Korean food culture in general. The show demonstrates that pickles are an essential condiment, expected by restaurant patrons. Later in the series, "diabetic"-style pickles (without sugar) make a triumphant return on the Italian restaurant's tables and restore harmony in the kitchen.

Inspired by Pasta, I decided to try pickles as an accompaniment with my next plate of pasta. The TV show focuses on the stripped-down purity of pasta aglio olio. This plate of whole wheat spaghetti (below) was heartier fare with tomato sauce, mushrooms, beans, and spinach. The sugar-free pickles did prove a great addition to the meal. I'm sure to try this condiment suggestion again, as Pasta makes me hungry for pasta--and now pickles--with each episode.
Pasta with pickles

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