Dirty Martini Pasta Is the Sleeper Hit Recipe of 2023
Think about a classic martini and you’ll probably imagine an elegant cocktail party, where people don furs and red lipstick and shimmy around in a romantic, low-lit room listening to jazz. Sounds like a good time, right? What if I told you you could be transported to that cocktail party feeling on a regular weeknight in about 20 minutes flat with a dinner that’s guaranteed to impress your family and friends? TikTok is once again coming in hot and flipping the classic martini on its head with the latest and greatest of recipe creations: dirty martini pasta.
What is Dirty Martini Pasta?
A martini is almost 100 percent alcohol, making it one of the strongest drinks you can order. The flavor profile is strong and can be customized depending on your tastes (gin vs. vodka; dry or wet; dirty vs. regular; shaken or stirred). Taking its inspiration from the classic James Bond fav, this pasta dish has everything a dirty martini should have and then some. Cooked pasta tossed in a light butter sauce made with vodka, salty brined olives, zesty lemons and punchy blue cheese—what could be bad about that?
Related: Kris Jenner Taught Kylie How to Make Her Famous Dirty Martini Recipe and Here's Everything You Need to Know
What are the ingredients for Dirty Martini Pasta?
The ingredients are just a tiny step up from your standard weekly pasta night and ingredients you probably have in your fridge right now: your favorite pasta of choice, olive oil, lemons, garlic, olives, blue cheese, butter, parsley and, of course, vodka or gin.
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What is the recipe for Dirty Martini Pasta?
The creator of this recipe is Emily Eggers (@legallyhealthyblonde), a private event chef and food blogger in New York City. Eggers, who loves a good martini, decided to create this recipe to capture the flavors of one of her favorite libations in dinner form.
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
5-7 pitted Castelvetrano olives, smashed and chopped lightly
Pasta of choice
1-2 Tbsp olive brine
2 Tbsp gin or vodka
1 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
Crumbled blue cheese
1. Add olive oil to a pot over medium heat. Add garlic and stir.
2. Add lemon zest and olives and sauté until fragrant and garlic is lightly toasted.
3. Pour gin or vodka into a hot pot and stir until it is almost evaporated.
4. Pour in olive brine. Add butter and stir continuously to emulsify butter until fully melted.
5. Toss in cooked pasta and combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve hot and garnish with olives, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and blue cheese crumbles.
What does the Dirty Martini Pasta taste like?
This is one creamy, butter-and-lemon-forward dish. And, much like the drink, the more olive brine you add, the saltier it becomes. Remember to taste as you go and adjust your salt and pepper as you cook, including before serving the finished dish. The vodka taste is subtle and the longer I let it cook, the more it evaporated the flavor. I added way more than two tablespoons the first time around and my sauce wasn’t quite as thick as I wanted it to be. Still, my lemony linguine was swimming in the salty brine that I for sure ate to the last bite. I loved the pop of freshness from the parsley and the melty blue cheese and olive bits that sank to the bottom of my bowl in a boozy puddle were begging to be spread on crusty bread.
Related: 'I'm Never Making Pasta Another Way After Trying Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta Recipe'
Tips for making the dirty martini pasta
I made this pasta twice, once following the instructions and the second time with a few adjustments according to my personal tastes and preferences. As with cooking in general—and to quote Eggers on her TikTok of the recipe—”measure with ur heart!” Not all measurements of ingredients will agree with your tastebuds and that’s OK—adjust as needed; that’s the beauty of cooking, right?
Make sure to save some of the pasta water and add a bit back in as the sauce is coming together. Pasta water helps to thicken your sauce and since this is a butter-based sauce, it truly helps to coat every strand.
Pitting the olives was the most difficult part of this dish (and I added more than the suggested 5-7 each time). If you don’t have an olive pitter, have some patience and remember that cooking can be a form of meditation.
Speaking of pasta, there wasn’t a measurement, so I used half a box each time I made the recipe (two generous servings) and it was perfect.
Chop more olives than you think you need. Depending on the kind you buy, you may need more or less depending on their saltiness scale.
Have extra blue cheese on hand for topping the bowl. Do I need to say more?
Parsley is a must because it has the “green” factor that this recipe needs to finish it off with a pop. Toasted bread crumbs or nuts would also be good here for a crunch factor since I felt the finished dish may have benefited from another layer of texture thrown in there.
Julienned strands of lemon peel (as Eggers used) faired better in the flavor department than regular lemon zest.
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