….and whiskers on kittens

OK, I’ve started something and now I can’t get that song out of my head. Damn you, Julie Andrews ! Warm woollen (‘woolen’ for my US friends) mittens is something I have no need for in Melbourne. But (is it correct to start a sentence with ‘but’ ?) what joy the simple things in life can bring? I find myself getting excited over close up shots of inanimate objects lying around the house. They’re just objects, after all. Hang on…..bulbs of garlic ……I think I’ll make myself a bowl of spaghetti al aglio e olio. See recipe below….yes, scroll down to the bottom of page. That means you have to look at all the pretty pictures !!

Spaghetti al aglio e olio (serves four more or less, depending on gluttony factor)

  • 500 gm. spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup olive oil more or less
  • a glass or two (more or less) of a good delicate, white wine;  a New World semillon is a good match, as is a French Sancerre or perhaps even a New Zealand sauvignon blanc.  (for drinking while you cook…don’t waste it in the dish)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, more or less
  • peperoncino (red pepper flakes for you mono-linguists) not too much, not too little.   This is not optional.
  • 1 tsp. salt (if you’re not into it, leave it out….but please don’t whinge about the harmful effects of sodium)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • loads of fresh parsley (flat leafed of course) picked from the garden not more than 5 minutes before serving (too bad if you live in an inner city apartment or loft)
  • Freshly grated parmesan (don’t be thinking you can get away with that pre-packaged stuff)

Allora……..Bring a large pot of salted (shut up already) water to the boil.  Don’t add oil to the water, just stir. Cook the pasta until it is ‘al dente’. (I shouldn’t have to tell you when it is ‘al dente’ ) As the pasta is cooking, gently warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the garlic finely chopped and the peperoncino. Heat through until it turns a nice golden colour. When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the pan. Toss it through until it is well coated. Add the parsley until it is well heated thorough. Serve immediately with a good grind of black pepper and grate the cheese at the table. Your guests could do it themselves but it always looks more impressive if you do it for them. I like to add a flourish of good olive oil before they get stuck into it.  That’s it….simple, slippery and sublime !

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