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GARLIC is very very very important in this kitchen. Lots of garlic. We go through it like wildfires, and I’m pretty confident we eat some amount of garlic everyday. But it wasn’t always this way because I used to hate garlic, and THIS, is the dish that changed my life for the better.
Aglio olio is so simple and quick to prepare. I know we say that about many things, but really. It’s garlic, chopped finely, fried in olive oil and a dab of butter, dried herbs and finished with chili flakes. Toss in some cooked pasta and there ya go! AGLIO OLIO. It’s K’s staple to bring for a potluck (not enough carbs, he always complains) and it’s my favourite thing to eat when I don’t feel like eating anything (stop. contradictions..!)
It’s insanely versatile, but here are the key points of aglio olio!
1) GARLIC. Of course. Lots of it, chopped finely. I used to microplane grate my garlic, but apparently K thinks its more fragrant chopped finely because the juice isn’t lost. Who am I to defy the garlic-master? Heh.
2) Olive oil. I have so much love for olive oil! Use the best olive oil you can get, and finish the dish off with an extra swig of EVOO.
3) Herbs. We like to use dried herbs because they’re so much easier to maintain (no need to water and prune!). Also, dried herbs pack a more intense flavour than fresh herbs so you need less. Schwartz sent us some of their dried herbs recently and we’re really loving how aromatic and flavourful they are! They distribute to practically every grocery store in the UK, and we like the small packs which are easy and convenient to use. It also means that your herbs don’t lose their aromatic properties over time because you use them up quicker!
4) Cheese. Traditionally, Parmesan is used. We can’t contend with that, so Parmesan it is. But if you can’t get hold of Parmesan, any grated hard cheese would be yummy too.
5) Spice. We like heat and spice, so we add chopped chilli into our aglio olio. Dried flakes work just as well, but if you’re not fan of the heat just omit it. (Although I strongly recommend it).
5) Add-ons. Love bacon? So do we! (whoop whoop!) Chop up some rashes of bacon and render out the fat in a hot pan. Then proceed to fry the rest of the aromatics in bacon fat. Mushrooms or sliced chicken also work great.
Aglio Olio – Serves 2
- 2 portions spaghetti
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and minced
- (or dried chilli flakes)
- 1 handful freshly shaved Parmesan
- Black pepper and salt