12/09/2015

Aglio ed Olio - Oil Garlic Pasta

Dinner time:
A time when Miss2 will educate us on which foods taste best swimming in apple juice.
Mr3 will prove that with enough persistence, you can break a piece of bread small enough to throw right into Mum's ear (if he's not too busy trying to lodge a fork up his father's nostril).
And, poor Mr13 sits quietly, with his head in his dinner plate, avoiding eye contact, lest his parents attempt to make conversation with him.

Yep, that's family bliss!
Unfortunately, prepping dinner can bring far more insanity and even if you enjoy cooking, like I do, kids can easily make it the most painful part of the day.
When I'm limited on time and patience or the kids are just being particularly ummm.... 'Child-like', I have a handful of super simple, speedy dinners to fall back on, my "plan b meals".


At the top of my plan b list is Garlic Pasta. It takes however long your pasta needs to cook which, depending the type and brand, is usually between 7 and 15 minutes and as long as you have pasta and olive oil, the rest can be made up with whatever you've got.

We are a garlic loving family, so our base for this recipe is garlic heavy. You could onion or spring onion if you prefer or just leave it out altogether.
You can also use any pasta you may have in the pantry- spirals, penned, spaghetti.... it really doesn't matter.

It's Pasta Anything

500g dry pasta

(this should easily feed 4-5 
people)

• Cooked according to directions

on the packet.

Aglio ed Olio - Oil and Garlic base
80mls *good quality* Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed

• In a saucepan, heat oil to medium heat (overheating olive oil will result in loss of flavour)
• Add crushed garlic and cook gently until just golden.
• Drain pasta and mix with oil and garlic

This on it's own is a delicious pasta meal but if, like me, you like to tick a few more of those nutritional boxes then this is where the recipe gets fun.

A few suggestions:

Herbs- Basil, Oregano, Tarragon, sage, Rosemary, Chives.....dried herbs should be added at the same time as the garlic, fresh can be added with pasta in the final stage.

Remember Herbs and Spices - small additions, big benefits.

Spices- Chilli, Paprika, Pepper, Mustard Seeds..... Spices are best added to the pan before oil to release their flavour.

Meats- Bacon, Pork, Chicken... Toss your leftover meats into the oil before adding the garlic, cook raw meats separately before adding or on high heat with spices before adding oil.

Vegetables- grated Carrot, grated Zucchini, mushrooms, spinach or kale,tomato, capsicum.... grated, diced or sliced these veggies are always a welcome addition to this dish.

And of course, grated cheese, particularly fresh parmesan.

So which combination would you try first?
Maybe you have some more suggestions for me to try?
Let me know what you think xx