When you're constantly on the go, like I am, quick and easy pasta dishes become your best friend. And once you get the hang of basic traditional Italian recipes, you can even start concocting your own versions, with whatever is available to you. This is how I admittedly cheat my way into creating take-away meals for myself and others, that only takes the same amount of time to prepare, as it does to perfectly draw a winged eye-liner.
An Aglio E Olio dish is easily altered, as long as you have its main component.. Garlic.
- 500grams uncooked spaghetti
- 8 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
- 100grams Jamon Serrano
For this dish, I chose my favorite, Jamon Serrano, which is a smoked Spanish ham, but you can use other kinds of hams, or even seafood. Shrimps, for example, make a mean addition to an Aglio E Olio recipe.
1. Fill a large pot with water and a pinch of salt to a boil.
2. Add uncooked pasta and keep on high heat, stirring the pot occasionally to avoid the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook about 11-12 minutes, until the pasta is AL DENTE, meaning that they are cooked through but firm to the bite. (sloppy overcooked pasta is so unsexy)
3. Drain, run cold water quickly through the pasta to shock them, transfer pasta to a bowl and add a little olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together.
4. Put about half a cup of olive oil in a pan, and cook chopped onion over medium heat.
5. When the onions start to look transparent, add the minced garlic.
6. Keep stirring the onions and garlic until the garlic turns golden brown.
7. Remove from heat.
8. Add Cayenne pepper to the pan (the amount will depend on how spicy you want the dish to be) and stir until combined.
9. Pour the oil into the pasta and stir, adding Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
10. Serve topped off with the Jamon Serrano and more Parmesan cheese.