Anna (sciamanna) wrote in vegancooking,

Pasta coi pinoli

This is a variation on the simplest pasta sauce of all, which is called "aglio olio e peperoncino" (garlic oil and chilli) and also "pasta dello scapolo" (bachelor's pasta) -- which is exactly the same minus the pine nuts. It's just as easy but somewhat more interesting.

A note about pine nuts: the Asian variety is a lot more common outside Italy, and usually much cheaper. They are in fact different plants and the taste is completely different -- or rather, the Asian variety has almost no taste, to my Italian palate at least. Do yourself a favour and look for the Mediterranean version -- they're long and thin, rather like giant grains of rice, and they have a pine-like taste which the Asian variety doesn't have. Interestingly, Wikipedia has a picture of the the Mediterranean variety in the Italian article, and a picture of the Asian variety in the English article.[1]

This is always made with spaghetti. You can probably be shot for making aglio & olio with any other kind of pasta, so I suppose it's best to play it safe and use spaghetti for this version as well.

Quantities for 2 servings

200 g spaghetti
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic [which I had forgotten to list previously...]
2-3 dried chillies
a small handful of pine nuts

1. Boil water and start cooking the pasta. Use somewhat more salt than usual in the water, because there's no salt in the sauce.
2. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a pan. Add garlic (either peeled and bruised or peeled and finely chopped), chillies and pine-nuts and fry for a few minutes, without burning any of the ingredients.
3. When the pasta is ready, drain, add the sauce, mix well and serve. (Mixing in the individual bowl doesn't work very well with this.) Take care to distribute the pine nuts fairly -- they tend to congregate in the pan.

[1] Nostalgia moment. When I was a child, we always used to come back from our summer holidays with at least one large jar of fresh pine nuts collected "in the wild". Washing them and shelling them is quite a lot of messy[2] and boring work, but it's also great for keeping the children occupied in the long summer afternoons... and the taste is something else.

[2] Freshly-gathered pine nut shells are covered in (a) resin and (b) a dark purple powder that sticks to everything. Especially when "everything" is already covered in resin...

Edited to list garlic in the ingredients.
Tags: pasta
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