Friday, March 14, 2008

Meatless Friday

Since today is Friday and we are still in the Lenten season, I want to talk about Meatless Fridays. I am not sure why, but on Ash Wednesday and every Friday through Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) Catholics are not supposed to eat meat. I have an aversion to seafood so it makes my life very difficult trying to find things to eat on Fridays. While talking with my mom earlier this week, she reminded me about my favorite Italian comfort food. It is a very simple dish called Alia E Olio which means garlic and oil. I don't have an actual recipe for it. I make it the same way my mother did. I just boil a pound of pasta, put some good olive oil on the bottom of a small saucepan and heat it up with several peeled garlic cloves until they get brown. Once the pasta is cooked, I drain it, put it in a big bowl and pour the heated olive oil over it (usually I remove the cooked garlic cloves). The finishing touch is some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. If you want a real recipe, I searched the internet and found one for you that comes from the website for Crinella Winery.

Spaghetti Alia E Olio

1 pound of spaghettini
6 or 7 medium-to-large sized garlic cloves, finely-chopped
1 cup, olive oil
1 teaspoon, coarsely-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon, salt
8 quarts, water
1 cup, Parmesan cheese
1/2 cups, finely chopped parsley

Add salt and a drop of olive oil to boiling water. Add spaghettini and cook until tender, but firm (al dente).

Drain spaghettini in colander and return to pot, stirring in about 1/2 cup of the olive oil.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil in skillet, add finely chopped garlic, and cook until garlic is lightly browned.

Stir in pepper and immediately remove from heat.

Add contents of skillet to spaghettini, stir to ensure that all the past is coated.
Sprinkle finely chopped parsely into mixture and serve immediately.
Sprinkle with cheese to taste (although this dish is often eaten without cheese).

Serves about 4.

Note: Some Italians use crushed hot red pepper rather than black pepper.

In response to the note on the recipe, I NEVER eat this dish without cheese. To me there would be no point in eating it without that Parmasan cheese. Personally, I don't use spaghettini for this dish. I use regular spaghetti or linguini. Sometimes, I even use angel hair. It is all good.

The Creative Cook