Simple Garlic Pasta & Garlic Bread

by cillefish

These are 2 recipes I don’t make together, but they’re similarly tasty and easy, and garlicky.

Pasta with Garlic and Oil

Great flavor: sauteing the garlic slowly gives it a perfect balance of sweet and strong with a lot of character and flavor. More subtle and nuanced than you’d expect from the amount of garlic in this thing.

Tips: Good with breadcrumbs on top, but toast these before you start the recipe. Also, you’ll need to add extra oil if you’re using fettuccine or another pasta with a large surface area. It doesn’t hurt to put a cup or measuring cup in the colander as a reminder to collect some of the pasta water before draining the pasta.

Ingredients
(serves 4 people as a main / only course. Half-recipe measurements are in parentheses)

  • Salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti (1/2 lb)
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (4 Tbsp), DIVIDED into 3Tbsp & 3Tbsp (or 2 and 2)
  • 1/4 c cloves garlic, smashed thoroughly and minced – a garlic press is a good call here. 1/4 c is ~ 30 small, 20 med, or 10 large, or 5 extra-large cloves (1/8 c is about 6-8 medium-large cloves). Reserve about 3 garlic cloves, mashed, for the end (2 clove)
  • 3/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes (1/4 + 1/8 tsp)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves, or 3 tsp dried (1 1/2 Tbsp fresh or tsp dried)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (1 tsp)
  • 1/2 c coarsely grated Parmesan Reggiano (I use about the same for the half recipe
  • Optional addition: 1-3 roasted red peppers, minced fine using kitchen scissors

Method:

  1. Mince the garlic before starting this.
  2. Heat small, heavy-bottomed nonstick saucepan over low heat.
  3. On another burner, put over high heat to bring to a boil: 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp oil, and water per pasta package directions. Pasta will be done right after or partway through the other ingredients, so keep an eye on it. If it’s done before, drain and toss every 5 min to prevent it from sticking. Let the cooking pot cool mostly.
  4. Meanwhile, in the saucepan, combine half the oil (3 or 2 Tbsp), all the garlic except the clove or 2 reserved, 1/4 tsp salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, about 8-12 minutes until the garlic gets very sticky and looks the color of straw. It may foam. Remove from heat.
  5. Add in and combine thoroughly: the red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice, remaining garlic, roasted pepper (if using), and 2 Tbsp pasta cooking water. Add a little extra oil if it wants to stick.
  6. In cooking pot or heated serving bowl, thoroughly toss noodles and other stuff, and divide into dishes for serving. Top with Parm and / or breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

Garlic Bread

This recipe is for a half a loaf of french bread – double it for a whole loaf
Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (I use the olive oil mayonnaise for this, as the texture and flavor are much lighter and complement the seasonings well)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garlic, crushed in garlic press (about 1 medium clove)
  • 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp dried parsley or Italian seasoning
  • Pepper (optional – I don’t add this)
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1/2 loaf french or sourdough bread, sliced lengthwise.
  • foil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 475° F.
  2. Cream mayo and butter in a cup or small bowl. Add olive oil as necessary to get it to a texture slightly damper than cake frosting. Add spice & garlic.
  3. Butter the bread thoroughly with the mixture, making sure to get the edges. sprinkle with Parm, focusing mainly on middle. Sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Put bread, butter-up on cookie sheet and bake 8-12 min, until cheese looks melted and edges of bread just turned a toasty brown but are not overdone.
  5. Let cool 3-5 min, then slice while it’s still pretty hot.
  6. Serve hot.
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