Monday, September 5, 2011

Pasta con Aglio e Olio

1.  Pasta - either spaghetti or fettuccine.  Of course, the traditional way is to use spaghetti, but I like the thickness of fettuccine.  Thankfully, we have individual soul liberty on these matters.
2.  Extra-virgin Olive Oil - great fruity smell and taste.
3.  Anchovies - That's right, anchovies.  Don't worry, they will melt in with the oil and garlic and will provide a delicious salty flavor to the mix.  You do not want to skip over this ingredient.  You can try, but you will regret it.  Believe me, I am not an anchovy fan myself, but I love it in this dish (and you will too).
4.  Garlic - lots of cloves of garlic (at least 10 cloves).  Of course, peeled and minced.
5.  Red crushed pepper flakes - just a pinch.  This adds a slight kick to the overall flavor.
6.  Parsley – fresh.  Handful and rough chop.
7.  Optional: Parmesan cheese.

Cook the pasta.  Make sure that when the water (for your pasta) is boiling that you add salt to your water to season the pasta.  Add some oil to the water (which helps prevent the pasta from sticking) others don't.  I have a preference of adding a little oil.  Cook the pasta to "al dente" (or a little firm) or completely soft (its all up to your taste).  While the pasta is cooking, fire up a skillet (low to medium heat).  Cover the skillet with extra virgin olive oil (be liberal).  When the oil gets hot, add the minced garlic (it should have a low and slow sizzle).  Add a pinch of red crushed peppers.  And now, add a few anchovies to the garlic infused oil.  The anchovies will slowly dissolve and will turn into an amazing salty seasoning that will add such a different yet lively flavor to your pasta.  Drain the pasta (really well) and then add it to the oil by tossing it in the skillet.  Cut off the fire.  Garnish it with fresh parsley. 

Eat with:
Steak or shrimp
Vegetables or salad