Thursday, May 27, 2010
Pasta with 12 Whole Cloves of Garlic or Rather One Whole Head of Garlic!!
How many cloves of garlic are in one garlic head? Have you ever stopped to count? Yesterday I did just that. Mark Bittman's pasta with whole cloves of garlic called for 10 whole cloves. I went into the pantry and dug out one head of garlic. As I started to remove the cloves, I noticed that there were about 12 cloves on my garlic head. When you're already making pasta with ten whole cloves of garlic, what is two more cloves, right? I decided to use the whole head of garlic in this pasta dish!! That's right..... pasta with an entire head of garlic, now that's exciting stuff. What can I say? I live on the edge, especially on Wednesday afternoons.
Look at all that beautiful garlic!
Just look at all those cloves of garlic...yum!
Pasta with Whole Cloves of Garlic, AKA Maccheroni alla San Giovanniello
Adapted from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
1/3 cup olive oil or butter (I used a mix)
10 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed (I used 12-13 because I'm crazy like that)
1/2 cup prosciutto or other salted ham or slab bacon cut into cubes or strips (I used bacon)
6 plum tomatoes or 1-1/2 cups drained canned tomatoes (I used canned)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound cut pasta, such as ziti or penne (I used ziti)
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, or a combo
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Combine the oil/butter, garlic, and ham in a medium to large skillet over medium-low heat (I used the #2 setting on my electric stovetop, anything higher would've burnt the garlic). Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes deep golden, nearly brown, all over, 10-15 minutes.
Core and chop the plum tomatoes (or crush the canned tomatoes) and add them, along with salt and pepper, to the skillet. Stir and simmer while you salt the boiling water and cook the pasta.
Drain the pasta when it is tender but firm, reserving a little of the cooking water and adding it to the sauce if it appears dry (quite likely if you used fresh tomatoes). Toss the pasta with the sauce and most of the basil, along with the cheese. Mince the remaining basil, garnish the pasta with it, and serve.
Notes/Results: I loved it and thought it was a very restaurant worthy meal. The sauce had a wonderful mellow garlic flavor. Yes, I said mellow garlic flavor!! Hard to believe that 12 cloves of garlic could produce a mellow garlic flavor, right? Well, the garlic was definitely present, but was not overpowering at all. There were times when I looked down at my fork and saw two whole cloves of garlic on my fork at the same time. I was convinced that I was going to have some powerful garlic breath, but that wasn't the case at all. In addition, the sauce had a creaminess to it from the Parmesan cheese. I loved the little chewy pieces of bacon, which pleasantly found their way inside of the pasta. Bacon inside of pasta is always a good thing! Overall, this was an excellent meal and the leftovers, although short-lived, were even tastier the next day!
This is my submission for this week's Garlic Breath theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we are celebrating the recipes of Mark Bittman.