Where’s the Pasta?

Call me a pasta purist. I prefer it “solo con salsa.” Hold the kitchen sink per favore. The idea of turning a pasta dish into a three course meal is so distasteful to me, I’ve lost my appetite reading certain restaurant menus.  Here's a selection from a popular Long Island eatery:

Penne with grilled chicken, sautéed broccoli, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and parsley in a light parmesan cream sauce.   Burp!   

First of all, I find chicken with pasta repulsive. Grilled, no less!  Combined with various cruciferous vegetables, cheeses, leafy greens  and herbs, well, you get the idea. In other words, “where’s the pasta?"

What the hell is this supposed to taste like anyway?  Each bite is a different texture and flavor, though usually muted. In most cases the dish is named after the house, like Pasta a la Gino’s.

Tell Gino “no thanks”.  

Listen, if the ingredients are a part of the sauce, as in “Linguine With Clam Sauce,” or “Spaghetti alla Bolognese,” or “Spaghetti alla Carbonara,” that’s fine.  These are classic dishes. We really shouldn’t attempt to create these American concoctions of “more is more”. I order a pasta dish because I feel like eating “pasta” and I want that pasta to have a certain flavor, hence the “sauce.” The best sauces require no more than three or four ingredients.

Call it “Pasta, Neat.”

Pasta Salad? Don’t even get me started!