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Pasta Aglia y Olio (pasta with garlic and olive oil)

This is a very easy to prepare meal. It is also food for the gods. I use 6 cloves of garlic but feel free to use as much as you like. The broccoli and walnuts can be thought of as optional and you should experiment with other additions, mushrooms for example, as the mood strike you. I mean, the idea here is basically pasta, garlic and oil, so be creative.

˝ cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
˝ cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
˝ cup Romano or parmesan cheese, grated
˝ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon zested
1 pound pasta (see notes)

Cook the pasta al dente. Drain pasta but do not rinse while reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking steam the broccoli florets until tender (~ 5 minutes), being careful not to overcook, set aside. Combine the garlic, oil, the teaspoon of salt and the red pepper flakes in a large skillet and sauté over slow heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic softens and turns golden, about 8 minutes or so. Because the garlic is the star in this dish take care not to overcook it which can make it bitter.

Add the cooked pasta, reserved cooking liquid and toss, coating all the pasta in the oil and garlic. Add the broccoli, parsley, zest and walnuts and toss until mixed. Add the grated cheese, along with salt and pepper to taste, and toss until well mixed and heated through.

Notes:

I find the piece pasta, such as penne, rigatoni or ziti, is preferable to strand pasta because it is easier to toss with the other ingredients - small deal, I know.

 

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