Cooking Without the Cow

I have a dairy allergy. I digest it well enough but it gives me a headache, which is not fun. I do use a little butter, especially in baking, because margarine scares me. Cheese is such a prevalent ingredient in even vegetarian offerings that I have had to experiment with different dishes to come up with some staples that will work for my family. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Pasta aglio e olio

I'm many nationalities, none of which is Italian. We were not a family with a rich cooking history and I've adopted many ethnic meals as my own. If I could choose a country, I think it would have been Italy. I throw together inauthentic versions of Indian dal, Lebanese hummus, Japanese soup, African stew, Thai red curry, Mexican rice and good ol' American collard greens, but one of my clear favorites is Italian pasta with garlic and oil. Long a fan of garlic and chili pepper and hater of anchovies, this simple dish first encountered in my treasured Rao's Recipes from the Neighborhood cookbook was a revelation to me. The authentic version is often topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley and usually doesn't include tomatoes. I only include them when the local ones are in season. Of course, broccoli is my compulsion and yes, I use spinach just as often.

Pasta with Garlic and Oil

8oz thin spaghetti, or pasta of choice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
5 anchovy fillets
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 broccoli crown, chopped and steamed
or 1 package frozen, chopped broccoli, defrosted
1 medium fresh tomato, chopped

Prepare your pasta as directed. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the anchovy fillets and sauté until melting into the oil. Add the garlic and crushed pepper and continue sautéeing until the garlic just begins to color. Add the broccoli and tomato and stir until heated through. Add the pasta and serve hot.


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