RECIPE: Our family standby, Linguini Aglio Oglio
Many families have buttered noodles or mac & cheese as the old "Crap- I need to make something for dinner and I haven't gone gorcery shopping in two weeks!" solution. When I have that panic attack, I make the Italian standby, Linguini Aglio Oglio (linguini with garlic and olive oil). Everybody pretty much has the ingredients on hand, and it is pretty easy and versatile to make. Depending on what I do have in the refrigerator, you can vary it anyway you want. I will give you some ideas. This version I am sharing is my own version. There is the official Caputo Italian version from my mother that I will have in the cook book I am writing. So you will have to wait for that!
Flora's Linguini Aglio Oglio
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves crushed garlic
1 small "square" chicken boullion cube dissolved in 3/4 cup HOT water
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
A lot of fresh grated Pecorino Romano OR fresh grated Parmesan
3/4 lb. whole grain pasta cooked al dente (you can use normal pasta if you wish)
Variations (1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, 2 cups defrosted & cleaned shrimp, left over chicken shredded, you get the picture. Be creative and resourceful)
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and saute until beginning to brown. Add the broth and simmer until reduced to almost 1/3 cup is left and has started to thicken. As the broth is simmering, add the seasonings and adjust as you go. When it has reduced enough, add the hot pasta to the pan, toss and saute with the garlic sauce until the sauce is absorbed. Sprinkle liberally with cheese and serve! Dinner in minutes!
Shrimp: Saute two cloves of garlic until brown, then add the shrimp and seasonings (if you have some left over white wine, splash a little with the shrimp to kick up the flavor). Cook shrimp until no longer pink. Then take out and set aside. Add the rest of the garlic, and continue the recipe as above. When sauce is reduced, add the shrimp back in the pan with the noodles, and toss. Garnish with cheese.
Broccoli: Add the broccoli to the pasta while it is boiling half way during it's boiling time so broccoli is blanched. Drain. Add the pasta and broccoli together to the reduced sauce. Also, broccoli absorbs a lot of the sauce, so don't reduce the sauce as much to accommodate the broccoli. Maybe more like a 1/2 cup or so?
Shredded Left Over Chicken: Throw the chicken in after the garlic is browned, and add the seasonings. Brown a little, then remove and set aside while you deglaze the pan with the broth. Continue the recipe as above, but add the chicken back with the pasta and toss.