Being Italian has its advantages, one of the main ones is knowing just how easy cooking can be. A great example are the simply delicious Tagliatelle “Aglio e Olio”.
The dish is basically a combination of pungent garlic, peppery olive oil, and chopped up dried Italian chilli (peperoncini), all carried on strands of Tagliatelle pasta. With this dish we will spice it up a little, give it some color and add a little saffron and white wine.
Despite consisting of so few ingredients, this dish really does pack a flavor punch. It is just ideal for those occasions when you need something to eat in a hurry, but don’t want to compromise on taste. I recommend using good quality pasta; the better quality really does make a difference.
One thing to mention though, is that if you don’t cook the garlic long enough, you can risk producing a rather bland tasting meal. This is one of the few occasions where I recommend to cook the garlic to until it becomes nicely browned, almost to the point of being burned. In this case, the slight charring is most definitely a good thing and the difference in flavor to the dish is immense. Or to be on the safe side, you can just crush the garlic by hand and flavor the oil, sautéing it until golden then removing the garlic but leaving the flavor.
— 400g dried or fresh tagliatelle
— 3 cloves of garlic
— 2 medium size dried Italian red chilli finely chopped
— Extra virgin olive oil
— 1 small bunch of parsley
— 1 glass of dry white wine
— Pinch of saffron
— Salt and pepper
- Boil water in a deep sided saucepan on a high heat, when the water reaches a rolling boil; add some salt and then the pasta, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pinch of saffron to the glass of white wine and let it dissolve, flavor and color the wine and set aside. While the Tagliatelle is cooking, lightly heat the olive oil in a generously sized frying pan and add the garlic.
- Now to get some good flavor, make sure you color the garlic, aim for a rich golden brown to medium brown colour. When you get a good color, throw in the chilli and reduce the heat down to a very slow simmer.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain well and pour the drained Tagliatelle into the frying pan, add your saffron flavored white wine, let the alcohol evaporate, add the parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve. If you wish you can top with some freshly grated Parmigiano cheese.