Saturday, December 12, 2009

Challenge 4.1

(I'm beginning to think the challenge is going to be finding the time and the ingredients to cook anything at all for The Cookbook Challenge, between the parade of dinners out and the random collection of half-empty jars and packets that is all I have to work with at this point.)

The source 30-Minute Meals

The recipe Aglio olio: garlic and oil pasta

The ingredients*
1 lb/450 g linguini
¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
5 anchovy fillets
a handful fresh parsley, chopped**
freshly ground black pepper
grated cheese, for topping

The method Put a large pot of water on to boil. When it's boiling, add salt and pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a saucepan, then add garlic, red pepper, and anchovies. Allow this to sizzle gently (don't brown the garlic) for a few minutes, then remove from heat. When pasta is al dente, drain and then return to the hot pan. Pour over the oil mixture and mix thoroughly, seasoning with black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with grated cheese.

The verdict I've been making aglio olio for years, but I was intrigued by the inclusion of anchovies (mainly because I have a jar I'm trying to use up). I didn't really think it worked; all I could taste was the anchovies. That could be because I didn't add any parsley, which I've also never used in this dish (see below). Next time I make this, I'll probably go back to the much simpler version I usually use—olive oil, garlic, and black and red pepper.

* I only had half a pound of linguine, so I halved everything else.
** I didn't have any parsley, so I skipped this. Including it might balance out the anchovy flavor.

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