Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins

Another stupidly simple side dish made from pantry staples that my family asks for over and over. The savory combination of flavors goes well with many other foods. It can be made with freshly-cooked pasta or with leftover, cooked pasta that has no sauce on it. I've included options for some variations to create not-so-simple but extremely tasty side dishes or complete, one-dish meals by adding ingredients you probably have on hand.


  1. Put pasta into a microwavable dish large enough to give you a little room for stirring and tossing.
  2. Dot pasta with butter or drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan over top. Add plenty of fresh-ground, black pepper.
  4. Heat in microwave on high 3 to 5 minute at a time, stirring frequently, until thoroughly hot.
  5. Serve, passing the pepper grinder at the table.
  6. You can add 1-2 cups of cooked meat (chicken, turkey, and ham are all especially good), and/or 1-3 cups pre-cooked, chopped vegetables. I particularly recommend broccoli, zucchini, onions, and/or green, snap, or snow peas.
Most Helpful

This is made a lot mainly for lunch paired with a vegetable and fruit. My young kids like it and it's simple. Instead of just garlic we sprinkle on tiny bit of Paula Deen's house seasoning.

drinkmore March 16, 2014

AWESOME! Make the pasta fresh and reserve some pasta water to mix in! Easiest and best simple homemade side dish!

jacragin_8917203 January 30, 2014

This was so good! I used some basil garlic butter I found in the freezer along with some olive oil. Wow, am I glad I found that! Between the the infused butter and the fresh parm, it was a winner. So easy and so tasty. I'll be making this often. I love pasta with simple ingredients. The pasta I used was mini fusili (?sp) Any pasta would work. It just seemed better with a smaller and shorter pasta. I may have to have just a little bit more before bed which means no left overs for breakfast. Darn! Stupid, simple and amazing. :)

tkelleytj March 07, 2011