|My interpretation of Aglio e Olio, spaghetti, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, tossed with fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, and finished with melted tiny tomatoes.|
Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Melted Tiny TomatoesI cannot imagine living my life without pasta. I hope the day never comes that I have to!
I try not to go overboard with it, of course, and yes, like everybody else, I try to incorporate some of the healthier pastas into my diet here and there too. Some of it is quite good, like this Dreamfields brand (love!).
I just so happened to be in the mood for some pasta when this came to mind. It's a loose interpretation of a simple Italian dish called Aglio e Olio, made with spaghetti noodles sauteed in olive oil and plenty of garlic. I also had the last tray of my patio cherry and grape tomatoes beginning to wrinkle up on me and needing to be used, so I roasted those and poured them over the pasta.
The concentrated flavors of the tomatoes were a nice addition to this dish, and since tiny tomatoes are available all year round, it's easy to enjoy any time of the year. Frankly, should you forgo the addition of the tomatoes, you'll be amazed at how good this is - that is, provided you do like garlic! Here's how to make it.
Prepare pasta al dente, about 1 minute under recommended package cooking time. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain, drizzle pasta lightly with some of the olive oil, toss and set aside, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If you're like me and using your Fasta Pasta, you may not have much pasta water left to reserve. Just sub in a cup of chicken broth.
This is another gadget y'all see here in pics occasionally. It's one of those little hand-powered choppers and when I only need a little bit of something chopped, or something chopped a little more fine, I love using this gadget. It works fast and it's easy to clean.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes; add garlic and cook another minute. Traditionally, spaghetti aglio e olio would use thin slices of garlic, but I like to go with chopped. Such a rebel.
Add 1/2 of the reserved pasta water or chicken broth to the skillet, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for three minutes. Add cooked pasta and remaining pasta water or broth and toss.
Continue cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Aglio e olio doesn't usually have cheese either, however, I like it with cheese, so I'm using it! Set aside 1/8 cup of the parmesan cheese for garnish. Add parsley and/or basil, red pepper flakes and salt to skillet. Add remaining cheese to the pasta and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Transfer pasta to platter. If using, pour melted tomatoes, with their juices, over the top. I like to squeeze the roasted tomatoes from the flesh. It's not necessary, however, it is a texture issue for me. I like the smoothness of the roasted tomato but not the outer layer. For purposes of the photo, I left them on here.
Garnish with additional basil and parmesan.
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Recipe: Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Melted Tiny Tomatoes©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
- 1 cup reserved pasta water or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil, set aside a pinch for garnish
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups melted tiny tomatoes, optional
Prepare pasta al dente, about 1 minute under recommended package cooking time. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water (or substitute chicken broth) drain, drizzle pasta lightly with some of the olive oil, toss and set aside, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes; add garlic and cook another minute. Add 1/2 of the reserved pasta water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for three minutes. Add pasta and remaining pasta water; toss and continue cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Set aside 1/8 cup of the parmesan cheese for garnish, add remainder to the pasta, along with parsley and/or basil, red pepper flakes and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer pasta to platter and pour melted tomatoes, if using, with their juices, over the top. Garnish with additional basil and parmesan.
Melted Tiny Tomatoes: Roast 4 cups of cherry and/or grape tomatoes, tossed with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon each salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika, pepper, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper and 1 teaspoon dried herbs, at 400 degrees F, for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring gently halfway.
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©Deep South Dish
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