There are some recipes that I always come back to. Don't you? For me, one of them is Aglio e Olio, aka garlic pasta. It's simple and fast and reminds me of childhood. My kids love it as much as I do. Toss in some steamed broccoli and it's a meal unto itself.
The first time I had this Italian dish, I was in my early teenage years. My friend Allison and her family invited me to dinner one night at a local Italian restaurant. The place was famous for its square pizzas, so her parents ordered that and this pasta to share. One bite of it won me over, plain and simple.
After dinner, I went home and raved to my parents about this awesome pasta dish and scrumptious pizza. Of course, the idea of consuming copious amounts of garlic isn't my mom's idea of fun. No matter, I still love it.
The key to making this is cooking the garlic just enough that it's soft and loses that harsh raw flavor. But you have to move fast and get it off the burner and out of the pan before it burns. Burnt garlic tastes notoriously bad.
The only big downside? This is not a healthy dish. At all. For a once in a blue-moon calorie splurge, it's wonderful though.
Of course, you can make a healthier alternative with similar flavors. "Healthified" Garlic Shrimp Pasta is a pumped up version with less than half the oil and lots of veggies and shrimp. Yum.
Another option? The Creamy Garlic Pasta Primavera sounds delightfully comforting too.
Are you a garlic fan? Share your feelings in the comments!
scaron, Sarah W. Caron is a writer, editor and food blogger. You can find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.