22 Apr Aglio e Olio – Garlic and Oil
- Garlic: Get a proper bulb of garlic, not the lazy pre-chopped stuff. The pre-chopped saves time, but it hasn’t got the same garlic flavour that a fresh clove has. This recipe calls for medium cloves; larger cloves are ok but, again, their flavour isn’t as strong. Make sure your garlic is not sprouting either.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The recipe calls for few ingredients, but they need to be good. Getting good olive oil is key as it’s going to coat every single inch of pasta. Don’t go for the silly expensive £15+ bottles nor the cheap £1 ones; embody your inner Goldilocks and go down the middle. For reference, I used Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Nutritional Yeast: This dish is usually topped with parmesan, and this ingredient replicates that.
- Butter: There isn’t much vegan butter in this recipe, but it’s crucial to getting a ‘sauce’. Usually, you use pasta water to help make a sauce, but water and oil do not mix; they sit on top of each other making slippery wet pasta. This is where butter comes in. It makes oil and water shake hands, settle their differences and work to make that fab sauce.
- Garlic: You may think “three ways of preparing garlic? Nah, you’re alright. I’ll just mince it all.” This step is essential! The dish is all about garlic, so you want to work that garlic to provide all the flavour it can. Whole smashed cloves give that roasted sweet flavour. Thin slices that get toasty give that garlic punch. Finally, minced dissolves into the oil, making sure every mouthful has garlic goodness. Garlic is also delicate and can go from beautiful to bitter in under 10 seconds. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t brown too much. It is better to under-do than over-do.
- Prep: Once things get cooking, you have to move fast as the garlic doesn’t take long to brown. I’d advise getting prepped before, having all your different garlic peeled and prepared as well as your parsley. It’s also a dish that can get cold quickly, and you want this served straight away! So prep prep prep.
Aglio e Olio - Olive oil and Garlic
A vegan garlic-infused oil with pasta. That's it. So simple and with minimal ingredients this will be your next favourite thing to make.
Servings: 3 people, 6 Hobbits, 30 Fairies
- 14 Medium/Large cloves of garlic 4 smashed whole, 5 sliced thin, 5 minced
- 30 g Bag of fresh parsley minced
- 500 g Linguine/Spaghetti
- 120 ml Extra virgin olive oil good quality
- 1 tbsp Red chilli flakes or leave it out if don't like it spicy
- 1.5 tbsp Vegan butter
- Reserved pasta water
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Nutritional Yeast (optional)
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Start by bringing a large pan of salted water to the boil
- While the water is boiling prep all of the garlic. You want to have 4 whole cloves smashed, 5 cloves sliced very very thin and 5 minced
- Prep the parsley ahead of time. Remove any large stems/stalks and mince the rest.
- Now the water is boiling add pasta in and cook to packet instructions or 1 minute before for a firmer bite. Stir every now and then to avoid the pasta sticking
- Add olive oil to a large pan with the 4 whole smashed garlic cloves. Bring to medium-high heat
- Once the garlic begins to sizzle in the oil turn down to medium-low. Let the whole cloves slowly cook, around 4-5 mins. Remove the garlic cloves from the oil and set them aside.
- Get reading: The next steps are delicate and make or break the dish, so listen up scout! I use the term 'Brown' but it is only very slightly golden brown. A dark brown means the garlic will be bitter so remove from the heat earlier than instructed if so.
- In the same oil and still over medium-low heat add in the sliced garlic along with the chilli flakes. It should sizzle quite a bit, give it a good stir and let brown for around 50 seconds.
- Add in the minced garlic and again give it a good stir. Let it brown for around 40 seconds.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
- Reserve some pasta water and drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pan on low heat. Pour the garlic oil over the pasta. Add a good amount of salt and pepper as well as parsley. Mix together.
- If the dish isn't saucy enough add some reserved pasta water a little at a time until it comes together
- PLATE UP, Go Go Go! This dish can get cold quick!
- Top with nutritional yeast and/or some lemon juice (optional) as well as dicing up the discarded whole garlic cloves.