Turn Your Favorite Cocktail into Dinner with the TikTok Dirty Martini Pasta

If you're an olive lover or your go-to bar order is always a martini, you need to try this viral pasta dish.

Shaken, not stirred. If you’re a martini lover, you know how to order this classic drink at your local bar or make a batch for yourself at home, but you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the flavors and ingredients of your favorite cocktail have made their way into an indulgent, viral dinner recipe: dirty martini pasta.

TikTok influencer Emily Eggers (@legallyhealthyblonde) posted the original recipe in a video that now has over 370,000 views. The recipe calls for key martini ingredients like olives, olive brine, and gin or vodka, and Eggers notes that you should "measure with your heart."

Martini on left, lemon and parsley pasta on right

Left: bhofack2 / Getty Images, Right: Marcus Z-pics / Getty Images; Design: Better Homes & Gardens

“This is like if you took a dirty martini and turned it into a pasta,” Eggers says in her video. “The recipe is really simple. All you have to do is chop some garlic, zest some lemons, and smash some olives.”

The instructions are easy to duplicate at home, and the recipe comes together in minutes. Sauté minced garlic, lemon zest, and olives in olive oil in a pan or pot over medium heat until the garlic is lightly toasted. Deglaze the pan with your liquor of choice and stir until it's almost evaporated, followed by the olive brine and butter until everything is combined and the butter is melted. Stir in your cooked pasta, add olive and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with olives, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and blue cheese crumbles.

"As a lover of all things salty and briny, I need to make this ASAP," says Emily Nienhaus, Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen culinary specialist. "I would probably opt for the vodka over the gin as a personal preference. I also recommend using a high-quality butter like Kerrygold or a local variety since it's part of a small lineup of ingredients. Another way I would elevate this at home is by adding some anchovy-stuffed olives as my olive element—it would add a source of umami to the dish."

Aside from the olives, the “martini” flavor comes from deglazing the pan with gin, the typical liquor used to make martinis. If you prefer the taste of vodka, you can use that instead, suggests Eggers.  

Many TikTok users also showed their appreciation for salty, briny flavors in the comments of Eggers's video: "Pasta AND gin AND olives? I'm in," one commenter wrote. Another said, "This is surprisingly doable too! Very little chopping, easy to find ingredients, love it!" Some also had suggestions for substitutions and additions, like swapping the pasta for spaghetti squash, adding capers, and using vermouth instead of gin.

Others (aka olive haters) can’t wrap their head around the combo of flavors. “I’m happy you’re happy, but I can’t imagine anything worse than eating dirty martini pasta,” one commenter said.

While the app seems slightly divided, there's no denying the innovation of this viral recipe. Try it out for yourself, and see if it makes as tasty a meal as it does a cocktail.

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