Monday, February 18, 2008

Quick & Easy

This isn't necessarily the most interesting dinner,
but it is definitely as the title suggests.

It was cold and rainy outside when I decided to make dinner. Cold always makes me crave carbs, and so I decided to make one of the easiest pastas there is... Spaghetti ali oli, or spaghetti with olive oil and garlic. This is not the sort of food you eat before going out on a late night date, and neither is it an optional thing - either everybody eats it or nobody does - garlic is a very powerful thing when it is the main flavouring. But this is yummy, quick, easy and you can adjust it up or down accordingly.

Spaghetti Ali Oli
Makes 2 servings

I am putting this note first so that you don't discover after you have thrown the pasta water out that you should have saved at least a generous cup it to add at the end, . The butter & olive oil end up emulsifying with the water and turning into a sauce.

  • spaghetti or spaghettini (the thinner stuff )
    - angel hair is probably too thin for this though)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed (at least - depends on how daring you are)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley - this helps to combat the garlic breath
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg (optional - I like it, so I use it - freshly grated by preference)
  • Parmesan cheese - finely grated & lots of it
While the spaghetti is cooking heat the olive oil gently and slowly cook the garlic in it - do not let it brown or burn, or it gets bitter.

When the spaghetti is done al dente (my trick is to take a piece out and cut it in half to see if there is still a white center in it - as soon as the white center is gone, the pasta is ready), drain it, but leave it wet - you want water. Put the butter onto the pasta, pour the oil/garlic on and sprinkle with the parsley and add salt & pepper (and nutmeg if using) to taste. Traditionally there is alot (read ALOT) more oil in this, but if you keep it wet and add some of the reserved water if necessary, then the amount of oil is kept to a (relative) minimum.

Serve with lots of parmesan and more freshly grated pepper.

And having talked about celeriac remoulade yesterday, I decided to use the rest of my beautiful bunch of celery to make a remoulade. No quantities, just the homemade mayo, spring onions, hardboiled eggs and lots of lemon zest.

Okay, they aren't the most colourful dishes, but definitely Yum!

Now I'm off to watch Bridget Jone's Diary
and slurp spaghetti...

No comments: