Wednesday, 31 October 2012

October 31, 2012 - Warding Off Vampires

Yesterday I posted an entry all about kale, all the while with some left over in my fridge from that salad I made with the raspberries and the walnuts. I was coming up with some examples of how to enjoy kale and I mentioned spaghetti aglio e olio and sautéed kale. I couldn't get it out of my mind today. So I made some for dinner tonight (in fact I'm eating it now as I type this). I didn't have any spaghetti on hand and I don't have a pasta machine. So I made fresh pasta from scratch and just sliced it into ribbons. Size and shape of pasta can make all the difference in a dish concept. Spaghetti would have been ideal for this but I made this on the fly and, well, it didn't cost me a penny. 

So I'm sharing a picture of the finished product. This is so delicious. The only other thing aside from insisting on spaghetti noodles would be to add sautéed mushrooms. So I'm going to describe the process as per how it should have been rather than how it is pictured...

You certainly don't need to make fresh pasta for this. Store bought deydrated noodles will work just fine. It's up to you. If you're making pasta from scratch, it will take about minute or two in boiling salted water. If you're using dry pasta from the store, simply cook as per the package instructions.

For the garlic and oil sauce, take a couple of cloves of garlic and make very thin slices. Do not mince or chop the garlic, there's a very specific cut you want for this. Place olive oil (enough to coat your finished pasta, I used about 1/2 a cup) and the garlic slices to a cold pan and turn the heat to medium. Give the garlic a few swishes in the oil every now and again but no need to stir. After a few minutes the oil will begin to simmer. At that point, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the garlic slowly toast in the oil. After a couple of minutes, when the garlic just begins to turn golden, add a ladle of your pasta water to stop the garlic from toasting. If the garlic turns too gold or even brown, it will be bitter and ruin the whole thing. Don't sweat it. As long as you keep an eye on it you'll do fine. 

Meanwhile, sautée sliced mushrooms and strips of kale. I'd let the mushrooms cook for a few minutes before adding the kale. 

Once your pasta, garlic oil and sautéed veg and fungus are complete, add everything together and toss with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and season to your liking. Grate extra Parmigiano over top of the finished plate before serving.

Next time I have spaghetti and mushrooms I'll be trying this again.

PS: To those of you who might be thinking two whole cloves of garlic for one serving is overkill, stop that. By slowly and gently toasting thin slices in oil the flavour is much milder. Besides, it's Halloween, what else are you going to use to keep the vampires away? 

Be happy, stay fed, and happy Halloween!

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