Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Midnight Pasta

I recently picked up Ina's new cookbook. I'm such an addict for her beautiful photography and foolproof recipes. I have every one of her delightful books. I love to read cookbooks before I go to bed. I take my sticky notes and flag the recipes I like and write a grocery list to plan. There are so many recipes that look fantastic in this book. 

The spaghetti aglio e olio was SO easy and didn't require a stop at the store. We had all the ingredients in the house. I like how she has a little story before every recipe. This is a dish that is nicknamed Midnight Pasta due to chef's making it late at night after their shifts. 

Kosher salt
1 lb dried spaghetti (I love to use organic whole wheat)
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I will reduce this by half next time.)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.  Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot.  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.  Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third. (This took longer than 5 minutes for me.)
Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss.  Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan cheese and toss well.  Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed.  Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

Garlic 101: Smash your garlic with the back of your knife.

Make sure it pops.

This makes is so much easier to remove the paper skins.

I like big slices of garlic. Heat in the olive oil. Do not burn. I should have cooked the garlic a tiny bit longer.

Add the pepper flakes. I may use half of the suggested recipe next time. It was really spicy and I'm a wuss.

Add the pasta water and cook for five-ten minutes. Seems counter intuitive to add water to make a sauce thicker. The starches in the water reduce and somehow makes it a nice creamy sauce when you add the cheese.

Use fresh parsley.

Get your brew on.

Add the pasta and Parmesan cheese after the sauce reduces by half. Toss.

Add the parsley and serve.

 How Easy is That? Seriously easy Ina. 

It's not like I needed another cookbook.

But I'm such a huge fan and honestly I've found 10 recipes that will grace our table soon. Barefoot Contessa, you've done it again. Cheers!

Thank you Ina, for another beautiful feast for the eyes and palate. The Midnight Pasta is so simple but such a quick and easy treat on a school night. I've also made the turkey breast. It was perfect. After another busy work week this was the perfect fix. Now to find spelt pasta for next time.


Pigtown-Design said...

hahah! i've got a cookbook to add to your collection!

melissa said...

A signed copy of Ina's new cookbook? You lucky duck! Her recipes are always delicious and simple. I've never been let down by the Barefoot Contessa!

Sundresses and Smiles said...

thanks for sharing!! that pasta looks delicious and SO easy! i'm new to the world of blogging, please stop by!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit...I don't own any of her cookbooks and have never tried a recipe! ALL my friends swear by her...I've just been too busy (what? blogging?). so, maybe this weekend i"ll go buy a book. But which one would you recommend, as a first?
P.S. My go-to books are the Silver Palate series: love them all!

Nelle Somerville said...

So fun to get home from my event today and see all your nice notes.
Megtown, next Friday right? Can't wait to Bake!
Melissa, my autographed copy has the lamest story and is from her last book. Amazon had a pre-order promise to receive a signed copy. I didn't even get to meet her. :( Still fun to have it in my collection.
Allie, welcome to the world of Bloggerville!
Lilly, I think Family Style is my favorite but honestly it is a toss up. They are all so, so good. And her coconut cupcakes are in the Barefoot Countessa cookbook.