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my "guilty secret" mustard pasta

Everyone has guilty food secrets. Sometimes, it's the food that is so outrageously unhealthy that you feel like a total slug indulging in it . . . but do it anyway. For example, I love adding thick layer of spreadable butter when having Nutella on toast. Yep.

I acknowledge that butter with Nutella is wildly caloric. I don't know what possesses me to make something already incredibly unhealthy even more so. But an aunt prepared it for me like that once, and I haven't been able to go back. But that's okay. It's a guilty little secret that I indulge in every once in a while.

But there are other types of guilty secret foods. These include using a brand or shortcut that undermines a "vision" of how the ideal dinner should be. Perhaps it's using a store bought cake mix. Or perhaps it's a preference for McDonald's coffee instead of the trendier La Colombe, Tatte, or Starbucks. This recipe is the second category.

Growing up in New York and later Boston, I had never had Chick-Fil-A until adulthood, and I became obsessed with their sauce upon first bite. When the fast-food joint recently launched an at-home product line, I was ecstatic and their sauce became one of my pantry staples. Here is a quick and easy pasta recipe with it -- which, for the record, remains mustard pasta so that the average eater might think it is a fancy French Dijon or Grey Poupon instead of its cow-loving cousin.


Serves: 2 people

Time: 20 minutes


  • 120 grams of pasta

  • 1/3 cup Chick-Fil-A sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

  • Parmesan, for topping

  • Handful of grape tomatoes, halved (optional)

  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Add the pasta to the water. and cook per package directions;

  2. In the meantime, take out a skillet and melt the butter over medium heat. After the butter has melted, add the garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant;

  3. Add the Chick-Fil-A sauce and mix into the butter by using a whisk or rubber spatula;

  4. Once the pasta is ready, grab a pair of tongs and add it to the skillet without draining the water. Take a tablespoon or two of the extra pasta water and also add it to the skillet to help the sauce coat the pasta;

  5. Ensure the sauce coats the pasta and divide it into two bowls. Add tomatoes, if using, and dust with salt, pepper, and as much parmesan cheese as desired;

  6. Enjoy!


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