In my mind I've run away to Tuscany so many times that I've lost count. I've taken leisurely rides through the gorgeous countryside, strolled through the Uffizi, got drunk on wine and limoncello, and ate everything that crossed my path. I've made pasta from scratch in a gorgeous rustic kitchen and even picnicked with a strikingly handsome Italian man. Naturally in these dreams I'm in my twenties, single, several pounds lighter and without children. Sometimes one can only dream.
In reality I'm very far from Tuscany. Here in rural Kentucky it is raining for about the 100th day in a row. My 4 year old son is wearing cheese puffs all over his face like it's his job and my 10 year old daughter is nagging me that she's hungry even though she just ate. I can't even remember the last time I had a good stiff drink, saw fine art, or went on a picnic, and my poor husband is working about ten hours a day. What's more is that I'm no where near my twenties, in fact this year I'll be closer to 40 than 30. Yikes, where does the time go?
So, the only consolation prize I could think of was to make a huge pot of spaghetti, with no less than 18 cloves of garlic, and watch Under The Tuscan Sun. Because if you can't go to Italy in person, then you might as well go there in the movies.
Garlic and Greens Spaghetti
Adapted from the new Food Network Great Easy Meals
18 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 2 heads)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
12 cups torn winter greens, such as kale, chard, escarole or mustard greens (about 2-1/2lbs.)
12 ounces spaghetti
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the garlic in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. (Be careful not to overbrown the garlic or it will taste bitter.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic chips to a paper-towel-lined-plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil into a small bowl to use as a dip for crusty bread, if desired. Add the onions and red pepper flakes to the oil in the pan; cook, stirring, until the onions are light brown, about 10 minutes. Season with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt.
When the onions are almost done, add the greens to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, remove the greens, shaking off the excess water; add them to the skillet with the onions (set the pot of water aside). Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Return the cooking water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Remove and reserve about 1 cup cooking water; drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cheese and toss. Add the greens and some of the reserved pasta water and toss, adding more water as necessary to keep the pasta from clumping. Top with the garlic chips.
Per serving: calories 565; fat 16g (sat 4g); cholesterol 8 mg; sodium 940mg; carbs 28g; fiber 4g; protein 28g
|Yummy slivers of fried garlic.....|
Head on over to Food 'n Flix to see what's playing!