Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I am going to share a couple of my absolute all time favorite pasta dishes. The thing I love about pasta is that it’s so quick and easy to prepare and always makes a great supper for the whole family. Just add a quick rocket salad, a fresh ciabatta loaf and a glass of red and your meal is done. Pronto!

Pasta Aglio Olio con Rucola e Funghi

This is a great dish to make if you want a quick meal. It literally takes as long to make as the pasta takes to boil so let’s get right into it. First up, get all the ingredients prepared:

1 clove garlic – crushed
2 handfuls of mushrooms – chopped
2 handfuls of fresh wild rocket
1 chili – optional (but recommended)
Lots of olive oil
Grated parmesan
Black pepper

Right, now that you have all the ingredients ready, get your pasta (fettuccini, spaghetti or tagliatele) into a large pot of salted boiling water. The Sicilian grandmothers have a very special secret as to how much salt one must put in the water. They will tell you it must be as salty as the sea. Now, pour the oil into a large pan or wok. Throw in the garlic, mushrooms and chili and toss around, coating the ingredients evenly in the oil. Allow the natural moisture in the mushrooms to evaporate but don’t overcook – the mushrooms must still be firm in the mouth. Turn off the heat and throw in the rocket. Allow the heat of the ingredients to wilt the rocket gently. By now the pasta should be perfectly “al dente” (that is not too hard, but also, not soft and overdone), toss into a colander and quickly throw back into the pot. The idea is to not let all the water drain which could make the pasta sticky and dry. Gently toss in the mushrooms and coat the pasta evenly – if need be, throw in a few more glugs of olive oil. Serve on a large white plate with some freshly chopped rocket, parmesan and black pepper. Buon Appetito!

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