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Monday, December 6, 2010

Back to Pasta

For years I barely ate pasta.  I felt like pasta was the devil because it was a carbohydrate and that was bad.  I tried to develop a love affair with whole wheat pasta but I have to admit, I just could get into the "nutty" taste and texture.  To me, it tasted a little like cardboard.

I've gotten over my fear of carbohydrates and have rediscovered the joys of pasta.  One of the things I really love about pasta is that it's quick.  For those of you who, like me, have their busiest time of the day between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m., something that can be whipped up quickly for dinner is a sure fire winner.  I can make a more complicated sauce earlier in the day and all I have to do is boil, toss, and serve at 7:30 when everyone is "starving".

I have also recently discovered that I really love the simplest preparations best.  You know the old story about good ingredients being the key.  Well, I am here to tell you that that's absolutely true.  A little fresh garlic, some fruity olive oil, kosher salt, and maybe a little fresh parmesan and you can have a really delicious bowl of pasta in minutes.  It's taken me years to discover what Italians have known for centuries.  Less is more.

Ted was out at a business thing tonight and so it was just the two kids and me.  As I have mentioned in the past, dinner is a little simpler when Ted's not around, so I took advantage of this and whipped up a quick spaghetti with olive oil and garlic.  This is an incredibly easy thing to make.  There's barely a recipe required but it is packed full of flavor using only a couple of ingredients.  As I said.  Less is more.

Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic

1 pound spaghetti
10 -12 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin
6 tablespoons fruity olive oil
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving

Put a large pot of well salted water on to boil.  When the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

In the meantime, in a large pan, cook the garlic in the olive oil until it just begins to brown.  Add the red pepper flakes and the parsley and remove from the heat.

Once the pasta is cooked, reserve some of the cooking water.  Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the oil and garlic.  Return the pan to a low heat and toss the pasta with the oil, adding a little of the pasta water to loosen it up if necessary.

Serve with fresh parmesan on top.

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