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How a Failed Cookie Experiment Turned into a Weeknight Pasta Recipe

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A lot of accidents aren't happy. Cavatelli with Asiago Oat Crumbs is the exception. As QueenSashy, the recipe's mastermind, says in the recipe's headnote:

Sometimes great kitchen disasters lead to most surprising dishes. I have a wonderful recipe for cookies with flour, cheese and butter, and was trying to adapt it to work with oats. The first batch of cookies went nowhere. The cookies fell apart and literally turned into crumbs. Correction: they turned into the most delicious crumbs imaginable.

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Cookies! This cheesy, nutty, and downright addictive breadcrumb-like topping was originally supposed to be cookies. Crazy. And cookies on pasta? That's the kind of crazy accident we want for dinner.

Cavatelli with Asiago Oat Crumbs
Cavatelli with Asiago Oat Crumbs

Grocery List

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  • 8 ounces Asiago cheese, finely grated
  • 6 ounces butter, softened
  • 8 ounces old-fashioned oats
  • 16 ounces cavatelli (you can also use farfalle, spaghetti, pappardelle, or fettuccine)

We're assuming you already have freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes (these are optional, though). If not, add these to your list, too!

Before you go to sleep, grind the oats in a food processor until powdery. In a large bowl, mix the oat powder, Asiago, and butter and knead with you hands until comes it together and is uniform. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. (You can also do this the day of for about 2 hours in the fridge or until the dough is very firm. Prepping the dough the night before does, however, turn this into an easy weeknight meal!)

The next day, about 45 minutes before dinner, preheat your oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and, using a cheese grater, grate the dough over the baking sheet. Spread the gratings into a uniform layer and bake for about 30 minutes. Look at those cheesy breadcrumbs oatcrumbs!

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, pour the crumb mixture over top, season with pepper and red pepper flakes (if you like), and toss. If you feel like making extra oatcrumbs just for sprinkling and eating by the handful, who could blame you.

See the full recipe here.