I present to you what my family calls “gim pasta”: a simple, perfect, little black dress of a pantry dish featuring chewy bucatini, gim (seasoned roasted seaweed), and cream. These noodles really speak for themselves, in large part because they remind me of the seaside flavors of a shrimp Alfredo but without the shellfish. This is, perhaps more than any of the other gim dishes in this book, a blatant concretization of my mantra: Roasted seaweed is more than just snack. It’s a powerhouse ingredient. If you can’t find gim, which is already seasoned, you can use toasted nori instead—just add a bit more salt and sesame oil. —Eric Kim
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oz. bucatini or spaghetti
cup heavy cream
large garlic cloves, finely grated
Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt
Gochugaru (for serving; optional)
Cook 6 oz. bucatini or spaghetti in a large pot of generously salted boiling water just until pliable, about 5 minutes less than package directions (it’ll finish cooking in the sauce). Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Add 1 cup heavy cream, 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated, and ½ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to pot with pasta. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed if sauce is reducing too fast, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats pasta, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil. Taste and add more salt if needed (pasta should be nicely seasoned to bring out the seaweed’s natural salinity).
Divide pasta between plates and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and flaky sea salt. Top with .70-oz. seasoned toasted seaweed snacks or toasted nori sheets, crushed, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with gochugaru (if using).