Caveat: This is obviously not an ‘authentic’ rendition of an Italian dish
So Banu bunked yesterday but I didn’t want to change my dinner plans.
The kitchen was clean and she had boiled spaghetti (always a good idea to keep boiled pasta in the fridge) the previous day.
The dish I had in mind required only one pan. That and two plates wouldn’t really set us back if Banu didn’t come to work the next day.
Yes, this is the part of growing up no one had told you about.
What I wanted to cook was a sort of quasi aglio olio with the lovely Pinot Grigio wine cured salami that Soma had brought for us all the way from Michigan and sent from Kolkata.
So here’s what I did.
Two cheese spaghetti spaghetti aglio olio with salami
Ingredients (for 2):
150 g spaghetti boiled a la dente (firm), 6 cloves of garlic smashed), a sachet of chilli flakes from an earlier pizza delivery.
Now a traditional aglio olio uses these 3 ingredients – olive oil, garlic & chilli – from what I understand. Here is an example of that from Free Recipes that I just looked up.
My deviations included 3 tablespoons of mascarpone (which was at home), 50 g of parmesan, 7 or 8 fresh basil leaves, and 7 or 8 cherry tomatoes, salami of course, dry herbs (I used the Provencal herbs K had got from Cannes) and salt.
- Heat about 30 ml of olive oil, regular and not extra virgin, in a flat bottomed pan
- When warm, reduce flame and add the crushed garlic
- Once this sputters a bit add the chilli flakes (or add it after the meat)
- Then add the meat. In this case roughly chopped salami. The salami was richly marbled and had a slight pungency as it was a cured one. In such cases you will need very little extra seasoning (salt)
- Stir this for 30 seconds on a slow flame…you will see a bit of the fat from the meat coming out into the oil. This adds to the meatiness of the dish. The anchovies Soma also sent me could have substituted the meat
- Add the mascarpone to the pan..it will crack as you splotch it with a spatula…just adds a bit of very faint creaminess to the end result
- Move the meat to the side of the pan, add half the spaghetti to the pan. Layer the meat on top. Now add the rest of the pasta on top of the meat. The idea of this sandwich formation is that it is easier to massage, sorry I mean mix, this is not Thai after all, the pasta and the meat
- Once the meat and the oil have spread through the pasta…add the parmesan after breaking it into rough pieces and stir…at the end you will get bites of parmesan but the taste of the cheese won’t spread through the pasta…these uneven bites were what I was aiming at
- Throw in the dried seasoning, salt, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes (cut into half), mix, and you are sorted
PS: Banu came to work today…ironically on a night when I had West Coast Diva dinner with a Maharashtrian chicken curry made by our friend’s mom and a Goan pork vindaloo made by a friend.
Well, at least Banu made some very soft rotis to go with the curry and lunch for tomorrow.