‘Back Pocket Pasta’ author gets creative with pasta, pantry staples
Dried pasta isn’t very sexy, unless it’s 5:30 p.m. and you’re running on empty.
Colu Henry, the author of a new book called “Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dinners to Cook on the Fly,” grew up in an Italian-American household where pasta was the go-to meal many nights a week. She learned to look at a box or bag of dried pasta with new eyes as she became an adult whoworkedinthefood industry with Bon Appetit before becoming a food writer and cookbook author.
With the right approach — a well-stocked pantry, some seasonal veggies and a pot of boiling water — you can make quick, easy and cheap meals that she calls back pocket pastas. Henry will be in Austin to talk about this laid-back approach to dinner at two events March 9. The first is a lunch and Q&A at 11:30 a.m. at Jeffrey’s, 1204 W. Lynn St. The buffet lunch costs $50 and includes wine a ndacopyofthe book. From 6 to 8 p.m., Henry will host a book signing at Metier Cook’s Supply, 1805 S. First St., that will feature wine and a sample of the pasta in the book.
I was inspired late last week by scrolling through Henry’s #back- pocketpasta on Instagram and decided to make a creamy spinach shrimp bucatini. I spent more money than I normally would have on the dried pasta, taking her advice that it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to get the higher quality stuff, and the garlic cream sauce with wilted greens and shrimp came together quickly as the pasta cooked. All told, we were eating dinner less than 30 minutes after I put the waterontoboil.