Chef's Aglio Olio e Peperoncino
So the other day I went to see the movie Chef. Hi5 if you've seen it as well!
Oh my! What an experience it was to watch the movie and the delectable food in it.
Three cheers for Jon Favreau for making a movie like this. Btw, the part with RDJ, which I was sooooo looking forward to, came and went so quickly. I wanted some more and then some.
At this moment I'm not entirely sure if I'm just talking about the RDJ -JF conversation or the food shown in the movie. Something akin to the scene they had. Life's surreal moments.....
My head's a little muddled up like that. But one thing I'm sure of, that Grilled cheese S/w- that beautiful golden crusted S/w oozing with melted cheese, yes that very one that stole my breath away, I'd die happily after eating that.
Actually no, I wouldn't, I'd probably just ask for a couple more. I like eating, what can I say?! I have a food blog for Christ's sake!
Lets not talk about me though. Lets talk about food.
There was so much gorgeous food in the movie- if I start talking about it, we might be here for the next 12teen hours. I don't think you'd want that.
So the guest of honour today is the breath taking Aglio e Olio that JF made for Scar Jo. I could hear loud gasps while the pasta was being put together in the movie and deservedly so. I mean such a simple dish and yet it made me want to dive right into the pasta and live there forever.
Which is why I was inspired to make it again today. I have made versions of it earlier and you can see them here.
Lets see how you like this one.
Time taken: 10-12 minutes
1/2 packet Spaghetti about 250 gms
6-7 cloves of garlic, slivered
1 tsp of red Chili flakes
10-12 Basil leaves
Salt to season the pasta
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)
Pinch of love
First bring a big pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti to it and cook according the time stated on the packet. Make sure its al dente.
Next get a skillet/ pan and drizzle about 4 tbsp olive oil in it. Don't even start the heat yet.
Add the slivered garlic to it and then start the heat on medium low. We want to infuse the oil with the garlic flavour and sloooooooowly caramelize the garlic.
See how its starting to turn golden around the edges....this is after a couple of minutes.
Stir it a bit for another 30 seconds and then add in the red chili flakes. Turn the heat to low.
Keep stirring till the garlic turns golden n toasty. Not yet...we could still keep going...we want all the slivers to be evenly coloured
This is after another minute or so. Just perfect. Please don't let the garlic go any darker than this or else it will burn and become bitter and we don't want that.
Meanwhile your pasta should have cooked by now. or you could just turn off the heat for the garlic-oil skillet. Before you drain the spaghetti, make sure you retain about 1/2 a cup of pasta water. We can use this later if the pasta gets a little dry.
Plomp, yes plomp, the spaghetti right in the garlic oil. Turn the heat back on, on low.
If you're using the butter, add it to the pasta before giving it a toss. The butter just adds to the richness and shine
Take basil leaves and stack them like so. And I know the movie Chef had parsley instead but I couldn't get my hands on fresh parsley and basil tastes better anyways.
Try to roll them as best as you can.
Observe for a moment how weird your thumb looks while you multitask- holding the leaves and taking a picture. Moving on...
And slice them with a sharp knife.
Sprinkle the chiffonade over the spaghetti and give it a good toss so the caramelized garlic and chili flakes are all mingled with the spaghetti
Dust in your pinch of love. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan before serving.
I was just amazed at the nutty flavour rendered by the garlic and the simplicity of it all.
Load your fork as best as you can, not skimpily like this...
And take a bite of this orgasmic deliciousness. Indulge!