October 21, 2007

Pasta, Garlic, Oil, Asparagus and Red Pepper

Saturday night was one of those nights - we looked through the pantry to see what caught our eye, and defrosted some thick pork loin chops. We decided on pasta, but without the red sauce. A quick search of the internet yielded hundreds of simple recipes, so I got an idea of the amount of oil and garlic to use, and went to work on my own version.
Blanch a handful of thin asparagus for 2 minutes by placing them in boiling water, and then draining and covering in ice water to prevent further cooking. Dry on paper towels. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil (for the pasta). I add a pinch of salt and a few drops of olive oil to the pasta water. In a saute pan, place 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and over medium or medium low, depending on your stove, add 5 minced garlic cloves. You don't want the garlic to brown too quickly, instead, you want it to infuse the oil with flavor.
When the garlic is just starting to turn brown, add a few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes to taste. When your pasta water boils, add a box of thin spaghetti, and cook as directed. This recipe is better with dry pasta as opposed to fresh, because of the way the oil will coat the dry pasta. When the pasta is al dente, drain and return to pot. Add oil, garlic and pepper and stir. Add asparagus, and it's ready to eat.
Grilling the pork chops was a quick and easy way to get a fantastic result. Salt and pepper generously, and then put on a hot grill for 2 minutes per side, and turn the flame to low for 8 minutes. Easy! They looked and smelled so good, I thought I would slice them just for fun. The flavor of the grilled pork, along with the garlic and oil was so good, it was as though I had planned that all along. Take a peek in the pantry and the freezer and see what you can create. Sometimes those meals you throw together will be so good they'll surprise you...and the eggs.


Anonymous said...

The pasta looks fabulous1

Sparki said...