I’ve had spaghetti aglio e olio countless times – usually in the wee hours of a Sunday morning after a big night out. Using smoked garlic was such a delicious twist – complex and savoury – it took this classic pantry meal to a whole new level. I will definitely make it again very soon!
My sister-in-law surprised me yesterday with a gift from her weekend travels to Canberra. She is notorious for buying me kooky presents, but this particular one was a stinker! It was a bulb of smoked garlic from a local farmers market. The smell was so pungent it made my eyes water.
Determined to at least try it before it made my entire kitchen smell like the inside of a charcoal BBQ, I decided to find a way to use it in my lunch. I have a weakness for spaghetti (and long, stringy carbs in general) and I cook it to eat on my own more times than I care to admit. So it made sense to add the smoked garlic to one of my all-time favourite dishes and the Mac Daddy of all pantry meals – spaghetti aglio e olio (i.e. spaghetti with garlic and olive oil).
I was a bit nervous about using too much of it, so while the spaghetti was boiling, I just peeled a couple of small smoked garlic cloves and added them whole to a fry pan with good extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. I pulled the cloves out after 4-5 minutes – it flavoured the oil beautifully. I added a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, salt and pepper, tossed in the cooked spaghetti (including a quarter cup of pasta water to keep it from getting gluggy) and stirred through a handful of chopped fresh parsley. And of course, I finished it with lashings of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Woooooow!! What a revelation. So simple, but packed with so much more flavour than the usual hangover-prevention meal. After the first delicious mouthful, I immediately regretted not adding more spaghetti to the pot!
- Pantry: Spaghetti (my go-to is always Barilla spaghetti no.5), smoked garlic, dried chilli flakes, extra virgin olive oil (Cobram Estate)
- Fridge: Romano cheese (Perfect Italiano)
- Garden: Flat leaf parsley
Easy-peasy, delicious and done in under 10 minutes!
Mrs. Magic Pantry XO