Monday, September 26, 2005

Garlicky weekend fun

After reading an article last week in the Times about buying plastic containers of pre-peeled garlic, I decided to give it a try. Garlic at whole foods is overpriced anyway, so it turned out to be a better deal to get the peeled stuff. I made practically the same dish two nights in a row, loosely based on one of Mark Bittman's recipes. Both times it was delicious and easy. I couldn't get my hands on any cheap, fresh basil, so I used some leftover pesto. Also, tomatoes were looking pretty sad at Whole Foods (except for the $4 per pound heirlooms), so I got canned, peeled ones.

ingredients:
olive oil
peeled garlic cloves
salt
1/2 pound of thin pasta (for 2 servings)
a few tomatoes, chopped
lots of basil or pesto
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese (optional)

Put at least a cup of olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat, and leave a truckload of peeled garlic cloves in it, turning them occasionally, until they turn soft and brown (at least 30 minutes, but less than an hour, or they'll turn mushy). Add salt liberally. In the meantime, make the pasta. The first night I used spaghetti, and the second night I used farfalle. I prefer the spaghetti, but either way is good.

In a warm serving bowl (I made it warm by leaving an inch of boiling water in it for a few minutes), combine the tomatoes and basil, and mash them together. Add the garlic and the oil it was cooked in, and continue to mash. When the pasta is done, toss it all together. Add a fat pinch of salt and a heavy grinding of pepper, and serve. I added parmesan cheese once it was plated. The second night, I added chicken.

You'll definitely want to serve bread with this, because the juices are delicious. I didn't have any FCI bread this weekend, so we had to resort to a pathetic whole foods wonder bread-esque baguette. Never again.

Anyway, I'm excited for this garlic business. I have to find a place down in Chinatown to get it on the cheap. okadots, let me know if you see it on your Grand Street fish runs. I love to cook with garlic, but it's a mess and a pain to peel, especially in such large quantities.

Last night we saw Flightplan with Jodie Foster. It ruled.

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