posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 01:16 AM
Pasta with Onion and Garlic Sauce
This is a remarkably simple, yet finely elegant pasta dish. Subtle flavors abound in this dish, making it one of the most popular recipes in my
repertoire. This has been a dish that my father and grandmother have been making as long as I can remember, and I know that the recipe itself
originated many years before my family came to the United States. There are many variations on this recipe, and I include a few here for you to try.
Feel free to experiment with your own variations as well!
• 1½ pounds of pasta (I prefer either angel hair or bowtie, but any will work)
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (my personal favorite is Fillippio Berio - available in any Italian market, as well as many supermarkets)
• 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
• 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
• Dash of basil, parsley or oregano, fresh or dried (I prefer fresh)
• Dash of salt
In a large pot, combine water and a dash of salt, and bring to a boil.
Cook pasta for 8-12 minutes, until it is al dente' (firm, but tender). You can check for perfectly cooked pasta by simply flinging a piece at the
wall. If it sticks, it's perfect.
In a medium skillet, heat oil and add onion, garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano (save some of the basil, parsley and oregano for later)
Sautee onion and garlic until onion is limp, and garlic is lightly toasted. Do not let the onion brown, otherwise the sauce will have a burnt flavor
Drain pasta, saving just a little of the water it was cooked in.
Add the remainder of the basil, parsley, and oregano, as well as the saved pasta water to the sauce, mix, and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine pasta and sauce, and serve hot.
You can also garnish the pasta with a little grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.
Variant: Clam Sauce
When sautéing the onions and garlic, add one small can (approximately ¼ to ½ cup) of diced clams in salt water. Drain the clams before adding them
to the sauce, yet save just a dash of the clam juice to add to the sauce.
Variant: Sautéed Chicken
Before cooking the pasta or sauce, take two chicken breasts, diced into approximately ½ inch squares, sauté in olive oil with salt, pepper, powdered
garlic, and dried minced onion until the chicken is mostly cooked. Add to sauce, and finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.
Variant: Shrimp Sauce
Simply add ½ pound of fresh shrimp, cut into bite sized pieces to the sauce, and sauté until shrimp are cooked.
Variant: Anchovy and Whitefish sauce
Add one can of rolled anchovy fillets and ½ pound of flaked whitefish to the sauce, and cook as above.
This is a highly versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer, dessert, breakfast, or even just a simple snack. Its quick preparation and simple
recipe make it optimal for creating a gourmet taste in virtually no time at all. This recipe is great for people in a hurry, but still wish a fine
Serves 2 (though this recipe is easily doubled or tripled)
• 2 fresh navel oranges
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Ground black pepper
Slice oranges into half moon shaped, flat slices, throwing away any pieces that are mostly peel
Arrange orange slices in a single layer on a dinner plate
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper
These are just a couple of excerpts from a cookbook I have been working on. If anyone is interested in a few more recipes, feel free to ask (and the
cookbook isn't exclusively Italian - it also has general American cooking, a little bit of stylized UK cooking, Cajun, Maryland, TexMex, and full
chapters on omelettes and mixed drinks).