So with no guests in the house - it's time to tackle the vegetable garden - has been a bit neglected over a very busy fall - so in good need of a little love and care.
So one of the first things to do - is to clear the beds from tomato plants and a lot of weeds. Hidden among those weeds, the cchili plants were still alive and producing like mad. So according to tradition, you pull them out, with the roots and hang them upside down in a dry place. Once all dried out you can use them for months to come - we often just leave them on the dried out plant - looks good in the kitchen.
So with all these chilis - why not do one of the most classic dishes in the italian kitchen - the one and only - Spaghetto aglio, olio e peperoncino - the perfect dish, when you face an empty fridge or if you come home late after a night on the town - and just a little hungry. This dish can basically be done in more or less 10 minutes. Being such a simple dish - you really have to rely on the best of ingredients - so look for great garlic - the red one are the best, this is the time to use your best extra virgin olive oil and get some good quality dried pasta - if you can get a thick spaghetto extruded from a bronze disc and slowly dried - go for that one. Favorite brand for this dish is Faella - but other will work as well. Normally this dish is made with dried chili - but if you have fresh, you can use this as well - we did. Use as much or as little as you like - but remember it has to be on the hot side.
This time we cook it in a slightly more modern way - creating a creamy sauce with the cooked garlic and not heating the olive oil - so we keep all the great flavours of the oil - this time we even used the new oil adding yet another spicy layer of flavours to the dish.
So for 2 persons you need:
4 cloves of garlic, cut in half lenghtwise
250 g spaghetti
80 g extra virgin olive oil
80 g natural mineral water
a drop of lemon juice
chili, fresh or dried, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
Place garlic in a small sauce pan and cover just with water from the tap. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, drain and return to the pan. Recover with water and bring to the boil. Repeat this 4 times, to remove some of the harsh notes from the garlic.
Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta al dente.
When the garlic is cooked the last time, place in a small bowl and add olive oil, water and season with salt and lemon. Use an handheld stick blender and blend into a creamy sauce and pass through a sieve.
Place in a large bowl and add chili and parsley. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and transfer right away to the sauce. Cooling the pasta slightly in the sauce with help to make the sauce even creamier - so give it a good stir.
Plate up - and enjoy......
If you are feeling real festive add some grilled calamari or flaky fish to the dish when you serve.