Leftover Pasta Lunch

I go on about leftovers. It’s the economy stupid! The cost of food, especially organic, local food is outpacing all other inflation, including rises in income. Forget about restaurants. Have you tried to get a reservation at a fancy restaurant lately? Well, the answer for most of us is no. But if you have, you didn’t have a problem. One of our favorite fancy restaurants in Studio City/Sherman Oaks just closed. I was bummed but I was also partially responsible. I didn’t go. It was too expensive. We would go for special occasions but that does not keep the doors of restaurants open.

So we cook at home most of the time. And that is really expensive. As you read yesterday, the kids eat everything in sight and trips to Whole Foods for really good fish and meat are few and far between. Leftovers are more important than ever. Fortunately, if you made a good meal with good ingredients, you can transform leftovers in more really good meals.

Here is a pasta that I made the day after the carbonara experience. I include it for two reasons. The first to remind you about next day pasta because, treated properly, pasta can be dressed with just about anything and be good. Even a little good olive oil, some parmesan and a little garlic and you have a classic. The second is that this one came out really yummy.

Serves 1


  • Leftover Large Handful of Penne
  • 10 Pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 3-4 Small Tomatoes, rough chopped (it’s what I had)
  • Big Handful of Basil, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Small Pot for Pasta
  • Sauté Pan
  • Chef’s Knife
  1. Fill pot with enough water to cover the pasta and bring to a boil. Unlike cooking pasta where you want a lot of water, this is only to reheat and a small pot seems to work just as well and comes to a boil a lot sooner.
  2. In the sauté pan, add garlic and red pepper
  3. Add tomatoes, olives, 1/2 of the basil and briefly sauté.
  4. Add pasta to boiling water for 1-2 minutes, just to warm it up. Don’t microwave pasta if you can help it. It dries it out and makes it chewy. 
  5. Strain and add to sauce.
  6. Grate cheese and drizzle olive oil over it.
  7. Serve with the rest of the basil sprinkled on top.
These ingredients are what I had. You can do this with just about anything. I always keep a good hunk of parmesan and some wonderful extra virgin olive oil on hand. 

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