The Pastas

J. Kenji López-Alt

J. Kenji López-Alt
Pappardelle adorned with Meatballs, drizzled with Five Cheese Marinara
Comments

I named this pasta after my favorite food-related blogger/writer, who once penned a turn of phrase that really stuck with me when it comes to describing a sauce. He might say that the meatball here is “enveloped in a thick, creamy robe” of five-cheese marinara.

Then again, he might not say that. I don’t know what Mr. López-Alt thinks about Olive Garden’s food. I do know that his book totally changed the way I approach both cooking and food in general, and I highly recommend it if you’re at all interested in the science of the subject.

Still Life - Peasant’s Lunch

Still Life - Peasant’s Lunch
Chicken Fritta perfectly sheltered within a bottomless bowl of Pappardelle, resplendently fused with Meat Sauce
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The artist has captured the rustic simplicity of a humble laborer’s midday meal. Notice his use of tasteful lighting to match the tasteful ingredients.

Breakfast In America

Breakfast In America
Marinara embedded with Chicken Fritta, swaddled in a agglutination of Pappardelle
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Could we have fritta for breakfast?
Pappardelle, pappardelle?
We gotta have it with lettuce
And flakes of basil, zinfandel

Big Papa’s Shrimp

Big Papa’s Shrimp
Pappardelle hybridized with Shrimp Fritta, pleasantly showered in Asiago Garlic Alfredo
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Fashion faux pas alert! This shrimp fritta has “accidentally” let its breaded coating slip, providing us a tantalizing glimpse at the flesh beneath. Dinner *and* a show!

Papa’s Shrimp

Papa’s Shrimp
Shrimp Fritta flawlessly woven into Pappardelle, skillfully coated in Alfredo
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Looks like the chef who prepared this one got a little overzealous with the alfredo sauce, but can you blame him? It’s a tasty dish! Plus, he probably makes like $8 an hour serving up thousands of bowls of this stuff to ungrateful slobs who wolf it down without a second thought.

Budget Cuts

Budget Cuts
Pappardelle garnished lavishly with Meatballs, smeared with Marinara
Comments

The water from the sauce has begun to settle out into the bottom of the bowl in a fairly unappetizing way. This is one of many problems that are solved by pre-mixing your dish before serving, but I understand that the Olive Garden is a high-volume restaurant. The extra step was probably deemed fiscally untenable by some accountant somewhere, but here we are now, dealing with the aftermath.

You Probably Should Get That Checked Out

You Probably Should Get That Checked Out
Pappardelle festooned with Italian Sausage, sauced with Meat Sauce
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Naturally, all Italian Sausages are beautiful in their own way, and each has its own unique bumps, marks, fordyce spots, et cetera. But there’s something funky going on with this one, and I really think you should get it looked at before it gets worse.

Papa’s Italian Sausage

Papa’s Italian Sausage
Alfredo wrapped in a fistful of Pappardelle, superbly replete with Italian Sausage
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Ah, behold the subtle interplay of light and shadow. I haven’t seen a sausage photographed this tastefully since I uninstalled Snapchat.

First Time At The ‘Garden?

First Time At The ‘Garden?
Alfredo covered in Grilled Chicken, settled on a mound of Spaghetti
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Spaghetti and alfredo sauce is and always will be an artless combination, something a rookie pasta eater might ignorantly order at random off the main menu. When it arrives, he has to pretend that this is what he wanted, and eat the whole thing to save face. It’s really quite sad. I had a good seven minute conversation with my waitress as to how this was not the case with me, that I am actually a very important food blogger. She seemed convinced, but would not inform the chef as I instructed.

The Classic - 2016 Edition

The Classic - 2016 Edition
Marinara covered in Grilled Chicken, tucked away inside a fistful of Spaghetti
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I’m going to say it here and now - grilled chicken is a phenomenal topping, the best Olive Garden has ever offered, bar none. I know that this may scandalize the old guard, but the meatball has been dethroned. Grilled chicken for life. Gaze upon the new classic. Hail to the king.

The End

The End
Shrimp Fritta united at last with Pesto Alfredo, enveloped by a deep well of Tri Colored Vegetable Penne
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Since the invention of pasta, there have been five dishes that were rated the most scrumptious, the most pure. This one left them all behind.

Pictured here is The End - fin.

Pasta Combination Selector