A Garlicky Menu: Gambas Al Ajillo & Aglio et Olio Pasta

I somehow believe that the best cuisines in the world share this highly valued culinary spice.  Asian cooking cannot live a day without it.  The Spanish and Italians would agree that the more you use this ingredient wonder, the more delightful your dish will be.

Old mother’s trick has credited its ability to avert diseases.  Folklores claimed it has ward off vampires.  But if you eat too much of it, its distinct pungent aroma keep the people from coming near to you.

Garlic is indispensable in every cooking.  Love or hate it?  For sure, I love it!

Do you now fancy a full garlicky meal?  Let me share with you these two recipes that you’ll surely enjoy – a quick Spanish shrimp dish and an easy-to-prepare Italian pasta.

Buen apetito in Spanish for you!

Aglio et Olio Pasta

Aglio et Olio Pasta

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, zested, optional
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat, then salt it generously. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, tender but not mushy, about 8 minutes.
  2. While the pasta cooks, combine the garlic, olive oil, the 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic softens and turns golden, about 8 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, reserving about a 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved water to the garlic mixture. Mix well. Add the parsley and lemon zest (if using). Adjust seasoning, to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl or divide amongst 4 to 6 dishes. Serve topped with grated cheese, if desired.
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Gambas Al Ajillo


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Ingredients

3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to medium.
  2. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the oil, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, ancho powder and chopped garlic in a small bowl. Skewer the shrimp and brush with marinade.
  3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of the oil in a small saucepan, add the sliced garlic and cook until the sliced garlic is lightly golden brown. Remove the garlic slices with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the oil.
  4. Increase the heat of the grill to high.
  5. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, season with salt and pepper and grill until golden brown on each side, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the skewers, transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the reserved garlic oil and the garlic chips. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme and garnish with oregano leaves.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY ?

Do you want to share a recipe that’s as garlicky as these?  Bring it on!

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