By David Harbilas
I love dishes that make use of few ingredients, and aglio-olio, or garlic-oil sauce is a great example.
In its simplest form it is exactly as it says–garlic sauteed in oil and tossed with pasta.
My favorite version comes from Lydia Shire, who chooses to “roast” whole garlic cloves in a pan with olive oil, then puree the oil and garlic and toss the pasta with the puree.
This version is a derivation of that. Italians love the use of toasted bread crumbs with pasta in place of cheese, especially when serving fish. Here you can use either.
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Â¼ cup bread crumbs (or parmesan cheese)
1 Â½ cups olive oil
1 pound pasta, any shape
salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, combine the garlic and olive oil and simmer until the garlic browns slightly and is very tender, at least 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly. Place the oil and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the puree into a saucepan large enough to hold all the pasta and heat to a bare simmer. Add the red pepper flakes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, Drain the pasta, add to the pan with the oil. Add the tomatoes and toss. Serve and top with the breadcrumbs or cheese.