Aglio olio is the staple of most Italianas, and I am no different despite possessing only 25% Italian genes. Once you make the oil (which can last for days), all you need is spaghetti and perhaps some fresh parsley or basil and parmesan cheese for a superb, soul-nourishing comfort food, namely the classic spaghetti aglio olio.
Today, I made zucca aglio olio from the pumpkin I picked up on my drive in rural Phuket. I decanted the oil into a jar and used some for spaghetti. I then used pumpkin slices to ‘wipe’ clean the saucepan, and baked those pumpkin slices (I sprinkled some freshly ground sea salt over them). The baked pumpkin aglio olio tasted heavenly!
Recipe for my aglio olio:
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don’t overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Turn off heat. Ensure that the red pepper flakes do not burn!!
Decant into a clean jar for later use. Serve with piping hot spaghetti, topped with grated parmesan cheese, basil or parley and freshly ground salt and pepper.
And here’s the aglio olio served the traditional way, with spaghetti:
Note: my friend Azlan Adnan suggested slicing the garlic thinly with a razor for that extra flavour. Good advice!
GO ON, TRY IT!
One of my Facebook readers did, with an even better twist: she added the aglio olio pumpkin to the aglio olio spaghetti, and her adorable daughter loved it! Thanks, Mummy Loves Jayna!