Dirty Martini Pasta – The Ultimate Pasta for Cocktail Lovers
As the sun sets and the day fades away, nothing beats a refreshing dirty martini. It’s the perfect drink to unwind and relax after a long and exhausting day. But dirty martinis are not just for special occasions and relaxation. It was also the inspiration for tonight’s dinner menu. A mouthwatering Dirty Martini Pasta!
The dirty martini pasta is a popular Tiktok dish that went viral combining the flavors of a cocktail and a classic pasta. The dirty martini has a briny, savory, and creamy taste that matches well with pasta. It is quick and easy to make with simple ingredients such as olives, olive brine, garlic, lemon zest, blue cheese, for a little layer of complexity anchovies and if you like a little kick a drizzle of chili oil. All these ingredients add flavour and richness to a delightful pasta sauce.
Tips in making the ultimate dirty martini pasta:
Your star ingredient for making a Dirty Martini Pasta is the pasta.
“Pasta is the best thing since sliced bread. And cheese. And wine.”– Unknown
- You can use any type of pasta you like, but for this spaghetti was the prefered choice. The reason why I choose spaghetti is the long thin shape absorbs the sauce well, while holding the olives and cheese in place.
- It is very important to note you want your pasta to be al-dente. For heavens sakes don’t overcook the pasta! There is nothing worse than having soggy pasta. You can always drain the pasta earlier and finish cooking it in the skillet with the liquid. Add more liquid to the skillet and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente and coated in the sauce.
- Pasta water is King! It contains starch, which is a natural thickener and binder for sauces. Pasta water can make your sauces more luscious, creamy, and clingy, as well as add more flavor and texture to your dishes.
If you haven’t been using pasta water here are a few reasons why you should start now:
- Pasta water can help thin out or thicken your sauce depending on your preference. If your sauce is too thick or you want it to coat your pasta better, you can add some pasta water to it and simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. If your sauce is too thin or you want it to have more body and richness, you can use some pasta water to dilute it and simmer until it becomes smooth and glossy.
- It can enhance the flavor of your sauce by adding more depth and complexity. The starch in pasta water can react with the other ingredients in your sauce, such as tomatoes, cheese, meat, or herbs, and create new compounds that add more taste and aroma to your dish.
- Pasta water improves the texture of your sauce by adding more moisture and elasticity. The starch in pasta water can help bind the ingredients in your sauce together and prevent them from drying out or separating. For example, adding some pasta water to a cheese-based sauce can make it smoother and creamier and this is exactly what happens in our dish.
Use Quality Ingredients:
As we use little ingredients you want to use the very best quality.
The key to this dish is the sauce, which is made with olives olive brine, butter, garlic, lemon zest, and blue cheese. You want these ingredients to shine!
- The recipe calls for butter! Don’t use plastic stuff like margarine! That stuff is just nasty. Butter makes everything taste so much better, no need for you to be shy either.
- You do however want to be extra careful as to not burn the butter when cooking the garlic-anchovy-olive mixture. Best to start with a lower heat and bring it up if needed. If the butter appears to start browning, go ahead and add your brine mixture to cool it off before it goes brown.
Please use fresh garlic and not the powdered stuff. The same applies with the herbs. If you can use freshly chopped parsley instead of dried. Fresh parsley adds to the freshness of the dish.
You will want to use lemon zest for this recipe so don’t skip it. And don’t use lemon concentrated juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice is just better!
You can use either gin or vodka for the liquor, depending on your preference. If you are looking for a more neutral flavour – you can use vodka. If you are looking for more flavour and complexity you can use gin. I used Gansbaai Gin. (Which I will tell you more about another day!)
For the olives, you can use green varieties like Castelvetrano or Manzanilla.
If you are not a blue cheese fan you can use feta cheese or parmesan cheese.
Should you want to take this dirty martini pasta to the next level, add a little secret ingredient. Anchovies! Using 2 or 3 anchovies adds a Je ne sais quoi to the sauce! I promise you don’t even taste it.
Garnish with more toppings. You can add more olives, lemon zest, parsley, and blue cheese crumbles to your dish for extra flavor and texture. You can also sprinkle some parmesan cheese and for a kick you can sprinkle red pepper flakes or drizzle some chili oil.
What wine will pair with a dirty martini pasta?
Of course, if you like you can sip a dirty martini cocktail while tucking away into your pasta. However, if you prefer a glass of wine, here are some options you might consider that will compliment your dirty martini pasta.
You will need to choose a wine that has a similar intensity and complexity as the cocktail. For example, if you are using gin or vodka in your sauce, you can pair it with a wine that has botanical, herbal, or citrus notes.
You will want to avoid wines that are too sweet, sour, or acidic, as they might clash with the salty and savory flavors of the pasta and the olives.
Go for wines that have a medium to full body and a smooth finish, as they can complement the creamy texture of the pasta and cheese.
Some possible wine pairings for dirty martini pasta are:
- Sauvignon Blanc: This is a crisp and refreshing white wine that has a citrusy and herbal aroma. It can balance the briny and buttery flavors of the sauce and add some freshness to your dish. I went for a medium bodied more tropical styled Sauvignon Blanc (Nuy Winery – wine review also coming up!)
- Dry French Styled Rosé: This is a light and fruity rosé wine that has a floral and berry note. It can match the sweetness and tanginess of the olives and lemon zest in your sauce.
- Albariño: This is a dry and aromatic white wine that has a peachy and nutty flavor. It can enhance the richness and creaminess of the cheese in your dish and add some complexity to your dish.
Of course, these are just suggestions and wine pairings depend on your personal preference. Feel free to experiment with different wines and see what you like best.
The most important thing is to enjoy your meal.
Dirty Martini Pasta
- 500 grams Spaghetti
- 2 knobs Butter
- 4 Garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped or minced
- 2-3 Anchovies chopped
- 200 grams Green Olives pitted and reserve the brine
- 80 ml Gin or Vodka
- 60 ml Olive Brine
- 1 Lemon zested
- 100 grams Blue Cheese crumbed
- 10 grams Flat leaf parsley chopped
- Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to instructions. Once pasta is al-dente reserve about 250ml of pasta water and drain the pasta. Put the pasta back into the pot and set a side for later.
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter 2 knobs of butter over a low to medium heat. Be careful to not burn the butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the minced garlic, chopped anchovies, olives and lemon zest. Gently sauté for 4 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add the juice of a half a lemon, the brine of the olives and gin. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the sauce by half. This should take about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down.
- Put the pasta pot with pasta back on the stove on a very low heat. Pour the butter olive sauce over the pasta along with a 125ml pasta water. Toss the sauce with the pasta until well mixed.
- Add half the chopped parsley, a few generous grinds of black pepper, and half of the blue cheese, crumbled; toss to combine. See if the the consistency needs any adjustment by adding more pasta water if needed. You will see the sauce will go silky, creamy and glossy.
- Garnish with remaining parsley and add the crumbled blue cheese. For an extra kick sprinkle some red chili flakes or drizzle some chili oilServe and Enjoy! xxx