garlic cumin long pasta

Some recipes work well right out of the box so to speak. No missing ingredients, no changes to make. Satisfactory results obtained.

This one is simple and quick and comes from a married French-Italian guy born in Morocco living in Paris and contributing to an American healthy cooking magazine. Another bob, but although we recall one classic French film in which the ill-fated hero was an unlucky petty criminal named Bob (later remade by Hollywood), there aren't a whole lot of French or Italian Bob's—this one goes by the name of Robert, but probably with a funny pronunciation. The cumin is the Moroccan touch. Which we happened to have on the spice shelf, probably a decade old but the shelf life of spices is not something many people pay much attention to, including us.


12 oz long pasta: spaghetti, linguini, tagliatelle or fettuccine
1/2 olive oil
1/2 c chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 T ground cumin (is there any other kind?)
1/2 t dried crushed red pepper
salt to taste
freshly grated pepper to taste
freshly grated parmigiano to taste


  1. Start the pasta water boiling and when ready dump in the salt and pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Drain the pasta when ready, reserving about 3/4 c cooking liquid.
  4. Return the pasta to the pot over medium heat and dump in the sauce and toss around to coat the pasta for about a minute, adding 1/4 c of the reserved cooking liquid at a time if dry, until it seems right, you'll know.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with parmigiano on each serving or just dump some of that in too and serve.


  1. Okay, we did have to substitute some dried parsley for the missing fresh parsley. Small detail.
  2. Illustration.
  3. From Robert Colombi, Too Busy to Cook? section, Cooking Light, December 2002, p.214–215. He used spaghetti.
grlcmpsta.htm: 16-aug-2006 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]