Back when I was a kid there was an italian restaurant not too far from our house that we would frequent mostly because I loved the "pasta crunchies" they served before your meal. I loved them so much that I would ask my mom or dad if we were over near the restaurant to stop so that I could get a baggie of them to-go. For whatever reason that restaurant didn't last and it was soon replaced with an Outback Steakhouse. My heart was broken because I always meant to ask them how they were made but never got the nerve.
Fast forward to a little over a month ago on Pinterest when the heavens opened up and this recipe ended up in my feed. I pinned it immediately thinking it had to be similar to what I thought it was but then forgot about it until a week ago when I was going through my food board trying to find recipes I wanted to try out. I realized I was out of oil (I don't do a lot of frying) so that was the only ingredient I needed before I could give these babies a test run.
So a few night ago I got out all the essential ingredients (pasta of choice and canola oil) and set out to recreate something I loved as a kid. The original recipe from Pinterest was for bowtie pasta but the ones I used to eat from the restaurant were spiral so that's what I went with. Not only did they turn out great but after the first batch and finding out that if I cooked them a bit longer then intended I liked them even more.
I will warn you that they're addicting! I've made (and eaten) an entire bag of pasta in the past few days which is not the best thing for my waistline.
small pasta of choice (spiral, bowtie, etc)
oil of choice (I chose canola oil)
Follow package directions on pasta to begin boiling it then cut that time in half (the spiral pasta I chose boils to al dente at around 12 minutes so I boiled my pasta for this recipe approximately 6 minutes). You don't want to cook your pasta all the way. Drain pasta.
Heat 1/2 cup oil and add pasta in small batches to the oil. Cook until golden (do not undercook or they will have a stale texture), remove pasta from oil and immediately toss with toppings/seasonings of your choice (I did a mix of lemon pepper seasoning & kosher salt on one batch and then that same mix with parmesan as well on another).
Repeat the process until all your boiled pasta has been fried.
These are not exactly like the ones I remember from that italian restaurant but they are pretty darn close. I don't think I can accurately remember the seasoning on the ones I used to love so I'm just going to keep trying different combinations until I find the best one to love now. But the parmesan ones . . . ooh those are good!
I'm the type that loves to eat most chips by themselves so if you are more the type who needs a dip to accompany chips then by all means dip these crunchies in whatever you please.