Day 4 – Angel Hair Pasta with Spicy Meat Sauce and Shrimp Fritta

by hagz

I knew I hated angel hair pasta. Always hated it as a kid, never once bought it after I was old enough to make my own purchasing decisions. I don’t understand the point of angel hair pasta. Pasta should be springy, with some bite to it. It should bounce if you drop it on the floor. Al dente and angel hair are mutually exclusive adjectives. A mildly humid day would overcook angel hair pasta. So why did I order angel hair? Because I haven’t had it in fifteen years, and I thought to myself, maybe I was just young and dumb when I formed my opinion of angel hair pasta. After all, fifteen years ago the only vegetable I ate was ketchup, my favorite restaurant was Rally’s (they still have the best fries), and I still thought Return of the Jedi was superior to The Empire Strikes Back.

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The unlimited pasta pass promotion seemed like the perfect time to give angel hair a second chance. So what happened? Exactly what I thought was going to happen. Angel hair pasta still sucks. It just doesn’t chew like pasta, it’s more of a stringy porridge of starch. Knowing today was probably going to be a disaster, I decided to fortify the dish with the spicy meat sauce and the shrimp fritta, two proven stalwarts of the unlimited pasta bowl.

In the end, even the sauce and the shrimp couldn’t save the angel hair pasta from being exactly what it is – a giant self-contradiction of function and purpose. But enough with the negativity.

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Breadsticks, always solid. I’m beginning to be grateful for the remarkable half-life of these things, because it’s a necessary deterrent to overindulging. Especially when you have…

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Pasta fagioli soup! This soup was the reason I first fell in love with The Olive Garden. The first time I tried this soup was my “the first time I saw her” moment. During law school, my friends and I would have frequent eating contests at the OG by getting the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. One one memorable occasion, we even took our first-year torts professor to the OG and had an eating contest in front of her. She was totally impressed.

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Gotta dip the breadsticks into the pasta fagioli so that it soaks up the broth, then you’re left with a chili-like consistency. It was a rainy day so today was the perfect day for soup. By the way, fagioli should be pronounced “fuh-jolie” – one of my recent dining companions pronounced it in a way that almost turned it into a hate crime.

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Time to move on to the damn angel hair pasta. I was eating solo today so I sat at the bar where Marty the bartender hooked it up. Whenever someone is operating the cheese machine, they always say “just say when.” She didn’t even bat an eye as I held my tongue like a Guantanamo prisoner. Marty was actually pretty amazing – she was hooking up everyone at the bar, and she even had one of those ear pieces that employees at places like Express have. She was ordering all kinds of things left and right, and they would magically show up just seconds later. Olive Garden seems like a good place to get experience if you want to become a secret service agent. You even get a head start on wearing all black.

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The shrimp wasn’t nearly as good today – a lot of empty pieces of batter. At some places, that can be a blessing (Long John Silver’s anyone?) but here the batter was just kind of stale. Guess that’s what happens when you walk in at 3pm.

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Dropped a piece of shrimp on my white shorts too. Probably because it slipped off of the stupid angel hair pasta.

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Still crushed it. I didn’t notice it at the time but looking at this picture now, the white streaks look like trees in a forest.

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Since my wife told me to drink more water.

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Told Olive Garden about this blog. They’re so polite!

Current weight: 171.9 – I’m inexplicably lighter than I was four days ago.

Current cost per pasta bowl: $29.25

Breadsticks consumed (today/total): 2/8

Calories consumed this meal: 1,470

P.S. If angel hair pasta is like hair, does that make my fork a comb?