I’m back with another post on ‘Light Meal On Monday’. As I’ve mentioned to you in my last Monday’s post of Spicy Soba Noodles & Tofu Salad in Peanut butter- Basil Dressing, that Monday is when I prefer to eat light. This weekend we did binge as it was S’s birthday and now it’s time to eat light and healthy food to balance all the binging done earlier.
My family loves the Aglio-e-Olio which is a classic Italian Pasta preparation and literally translates to Pasta in garlic and oil. Authentically made using spaghetti, it has the simplest of flavours and is so quick to make. Although many would say it’s the easiest preparation to make, and I agree on the easy bit, yet I find there are so many nuances in the preparation that needs to be taken care of, to get the most authentic flavours.
If the minute details are paid attention, I can assure that the flavour is unmatched. I have tried making the pasta without paying attention to the minute details and I could make out the difference in the flavour and taste, which were compromised because of my negligence, and I promised myself then, never to hurry up while making this preparation.
I’m providing a stepwise tutorial for every one to understand the minute details which need to be paid attention. It’s very important to cook the garlic right way, that ensures that the garlic releases maximum flavour into the oil, which is the key flavour in this preparation. Also, make notes to the way the spaghetti gets cooked. If these two steps are taken care of, one lands up making the best Aglio-e-Olio
It’s an ideal meal on lazy days or when one wants a light meal. Just make this and one is sorted.
500gms Whole Wheat Spaghetti
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and more for drizzling
3tbsp finely sliced garlic*
1tbsp chilli flakes**
1/4cup finely chopped flat leaf Parsley
1/4cup grated parmesan
about 2-3tbsp salt to be added in boiling water***
4-5liters of water for boiling the pasta
Preparation Time: 10-15mins | Cooking Time: 10mins | Makes: a very large bowl | Serves: 4| Difficulty Level: Easy
In a large pan put water for boiling and once one can see a light boil coming up, add salt to it. Ensure enough salt is added as this preparation gets salt only from this step.
At this stage when salt has been added to the water. In a pan add the EVOO and add garlic to the COLD EVOO. Put it on very low flame so that the oil heats slowly and garlic gets slow cooked. This step is very important and should not be hurried.
When the water comes to a roaring boil insert half the length of the spaghetti bundle, once the lower half softens a little, push the entire length into the water and cook Al dente or cooked till it has a bite. Do not overcook.
Keep a watch on the garlic, it gets slowly cooked releasing all it’s flavours into the oil. When the garlic turns light golden in colour, add the chilli flakes and a ladle of the pasta water. This slows down the cooking of garlic and also add salt to the preparation.
Strain the cooked pasta and NEVER WASH SPAGHETTI WITH COLD WATER, use it immediately.
In a large bowl mix the pasta, garlic oil, parsley and parmesan. Mix gently. Serve it immediately topping it with more parsley, grated parmesan and a drizzle of EVOO.
Notes:*The garlic should be sliced thin and evenly for even cooking.
**If one likes more spice, one can add more chilli flakes or sprinkle some freshly ground pepper on top.
***The salt requirement comes from the salt added in the water, one has to be careful while adding that else the spaghetti will turn salty.
One can also add sliced olives as a garnish.