A few weeks ago we went to New York City to cook on the TODAY Show from our new book, Pretty Simple Cooking. Embarrassing truth: it was the first time Alex and I had been back to NYC since our teens! Yes, please laugh. We’d been wanting to visit NYC for years, especially being so interested in food, but for whatever reason other trips got in the way. (Amalfi Coast, Rome, Greece, Santa Fe, Alaska…) So finally, we had an excuse to take a few days in the city and eat.
New York City can be polarizing: you love it or your hate it. Well, Alex and I both fell in love instantly. The architecture, the history, the melting pot of so many cultures, and the FOOD. It’s not even just the food itself: there’s an energy about just being around hundreds of years of food culture. Living in Indianapolis for the past 14 years, there’s not the rich history of food that we could sense in NYC. The food scene in Indy has taken off and we absolutely love it: NYC is a peek into what Indy could be someday. We had some incredible meals in NYC. Notably: Dirt Candy, a truly inventive vegetarian restaurant run by a woman chef, and my favorite Via Carrota, the best Italian I’ve had outside of Italy. But the recipe today was inspired by a low brow New York City culinary experience: the bagel.
Yes, the bagel. While we were in NYC, Alex was determined to find a good bagel joint. I was very into bagels in college, but later in life found out that they weren’t quite the model of a health food. Since then, I’ve largely avoided bagels so as not to engage my previous obsession. But in this case, I figured: when in Rome, right? When in NYC, eat a bagel. I had forgotten about my obsession with Everything Bagel flavor until I stepped into that bagel shop. The aroma of fresh bagels and the light oniony garlicy Everything Bagel smell brought back all sorts of memories. My Everything Bagel was slathered with an extreme amount of garden herb cream cheese, and it was everything a bagel experience should be: gooey, savory, creamy, salty, and in seedy goodness.
Since bagels aren’t part of our every day life, I thought: what if we could bottle up the Everything Bagel and put it into a meal? Like, Everything Bagel pasta?
Everything Bagel pasta? Yes. One thousand times, yes.
This Everything Bagel pasta is everything you love about the Everything Bagel, deconstructed and reconstructed as pasta. And it’s so, so simple: it takes just 6 ingredients and 15 minutes to make! It’s actually surprising how well it turned out. When I told Alex I was going to test run this Everything Bagel pasta, he wasn’t sure if my idea of combining cream cheese with pasta water and Everything Bagel seasoning was too simple. But when he took the first bite, he was sold. It tastes just like an Everything Bagel! And the Everything Bagel pasta was born.
A few notes about this Everything Bagel pasta:
- For a healthy dinner, we suggest pairing the Everything Bagel pasta with some green for a healthy dinner: here we used the broccoli from Pretty Simple Cooking, without the feta. Or, make a fresh green salad.
- For the sauce, cream cheese is combined with some of the pasta water to make a creamy sauce. The amount of water will vary, so add just enough until your pasta becomes very creamy.
- The pasta is best served immediately. It becomes a bit sticky as it sits; if desired, you can reheat it in the serving pot and add a bit more pasta water and salt. Next day leftovers will have a stickier consistency.
- We’ve added a few ideas for optional garnishes: sliced green onion tops for a “scallion cream cheese” option, or a bit of grated Parmesan for a sophisticated flair. But we love it as is: pure and simple!
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free with gluten-free pasta.
This Everything Bagel Pasta takes the magic of an Everything Bagel and puts it into delicious dinner form. It takes only 15 minutes to make this simple vegetarian dinner recipe!
- 1 pound linguine pasta, gluten-free if desired
- 1/2 cup full-fat cream cheese (1/2 block)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes (minced onion)
- 2 teaspoons dried garlic flakes (minced garlic)
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- Optional garnishes: Green onion, Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, about 11 minutes (refer to the package instructions). Using a glass liquid measuring cup, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the hot pasta water, then drain the pasta.
Return the pasta to the pot. Add the cream cheese (broken into dollops), sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes, garlic flakes, and sea salt. Pour in about 3/4 cup of the pasta water and toss until a creamy sauce forms; add a bit of additional water as necessary to come to a creamy consistency. Serve immediately, garnished with additional salt if desired (depending on how much pasta water is added). The pasta is best served immediately. It becomes a bit sticky as it sits; if desired, you can reheat it in the serving pot and add a bit more pasta water and salt. Next day leftovers will have a stickier consistency.
Optional garnishes: for a “scallion cream cheese” variation, add thinly sliced green onion tops; for a sophisticated variation, add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.