Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Simple Garlic Pasta

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that I love garlic.  My husband said that when he goes home for the week (we live a couple hours apart) he notices that he smells like garlic.  I eat a lot of garlic, and I always have.  I also really love pasta, so it only made sense to combine my two loves into a tasty and easy dish.

Don't be afraid by the amount of garlic in this recipe.  When cooked slowly and for a long time, the garlic takes on a very mild, sweet flavor.

The following pasta really only has to have three ingredients: garlic, olive oil, and pasta, but you can add anything else you like.  It also tastes better the next day when all the flavors have begun to meld, so make a big batch, and take it to lunch all week.

Simple Garlic Pasta

1/2 cup olive oil
10 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
salt and pepper
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
1/4 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives (optional)
16 oz pasta, any shape

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Set aside 1/2 cup pasta water. The goal here is for the pasta to finish cooking right after the oil mixture is completely finished.

2. place olive oil and garlic cloves into cold pan.  Heat over medium low heat until garlic is golden brown.  Watch and turn garlic frequently during this process because the garlic will burn and become very bitter.  This will take between 5 and 10 minutes.  Remove garlic from pan and set aside to chop.

3. Add the cherry tomatoes to oil, they will pop.  Cook until tomatoes start to burst open.  Add kalamata olives and chopped, cooked garlic.  Add reserved pasta water, stir.

4. Add hot, drained pasta to large bowl.  Pour oil, tomato, garlic, olive mixture over pasta.  Toss.  Check pasta to see if it needs salt and pepper.  This can be served with or without grated parmesan cheese.

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