Sunday, March 20, 2011

A WORD ABOUT GARLIC and OLIVE OIL

Pasta aglio olio, in our home pronounced “iyo oiyo” was always greeted with a sigh of anticipation when my mother would place the bowl of pasta on the table. On weekdays pasta, served in various ways every Tuesday and Thursday, was a one dish meal, usually with an accompanying salad. My father and I considered aglio olio, (along with every other pasta dish) our favorite. It would be many years later that I first learned how it was spelled so I could look for it on restaurant menus where it was rarely found, probably because it was such a simple peasant meal.

It is easy to prepare. Simply saute thinly sliced garlic in olive oil and serve over pasta with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley. Some of the pasta water may be added if needed. I prefer capellini (angel hair) or linguini, but almost any pasta will do.

Could it possibly be any simpler? Well...yes it can. Long after I left the nest, and my parents were living in small home on our farm, my mother began serving aglio olio crudo, where the garlic and olive oil are uncooked. The first time I tasted it I knew! If I had to choose my last meal on this sweet earth...it would be aglio olio crudo!

I love serving it to friends who have never experienced this simple pleasure. I am surprised how many of my italian friends and relatives have never had this dish. Yesterday I introduced it to my friends Raffaele and Sophia who joined me for lunch.

This very simple dish can be accessorized if one feels the need for something more by adding chopped black olives, or Italian sausage to the pasta. But anything added really takes away from the pure, simple taste of this dish.

Unfortunately I do not have a photo to share with you, but the next time I prepare aglio olio crude I will post one, and that shouldn’t be a very long wait.

2 comments:

David C. said...

Sounds great. We'll have to try it.

William F. Renzulli said...

You won't be disappointed!