Monday, December 14, 2009

Cold Weather Food

It was a gray and rainy morning on Saturday (and for the better part of the weekend, actually), which made me crave something warm and comforting for breakfast. I had starred some gingerbread pancakes in my Google Reader a while ago and decided it was the perfect morning to make them. Unfortunately, though scrumptious, they weren’t terribly pretty and I didn’t photograph them (we also devoured them rather quickly). Though I hope to make them again before the holiday season is over, it may not happen, so click on over to this recipe on Baking Bites for some fantastic Gingerbread Pancakes (I recommend upping the spices and subbing some whole wheat for white flour). Josh and Eloise would tell you the pancakes were the best idea I had all weekend, much better than my idea to go running in the rain.

I’m not going to leave you without a recipe and a picture of my wet dog. Another yummy comfort food I’ve been making recently is Pasta with Garlic and Oil; if you want to be fancy it’s called “Aglios E Olio”. In our house we refer to the dish as “garlic noodles.” It’s easy, delicious, and inexpensive to make – win-win-win! We won’t bother worrying about the nutritional content. Mondays are often rough for me, so it’s nice to have a simple and satisfying meal like this one at the end of the day. Before you proceed, I will warn you that you must love garlic, ‘cos there’s a lot in this recipe! This recipe received an 8.5 for Deliciousness and a 2 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 4.25.

Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil (Aglio E Olio) from Cook’s Illustrated Italian Favorites
(printable recipe)

1 pound spaghetti or noodles of your choice
Table salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
20 medium garlic cloves from 1-2 heads, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about ¼ cup)
¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3-4 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
1 ounce grated Parmesan, about ½ cup (optional)

Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof serving bowl on rack and heat oven to 200 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil, covered in large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add spaghetti and 1 ½ teaspoons salt to boiling water, stir to separate pasta, cover and cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta.

While water is heating, combine 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt or sea salt flakes in heavy-bottomed nonstick 10-inch skillet; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until garlic foams and is sticky and straw-colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Off heat, add remaining tablespoon of garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons pasta cooking water to skillet and stir well to keep garlic from clumping.

Transfer drained pasta to warm serving bowl; add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and remaining reserved pasta water and toss to coat. Add garlic mixture and ¾ teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes to pasta; toss well to combine. Serve immediately, sprinkling individual bowls with Parmesan, if desired.

Recipe notes: I chop half the garlic with a knife and mince the rest with a garlic press, so there are varying size pieces. The recipe recommends sprinkling toasted bread crumbs over the pasta, which I think would be excellent (extra carbs!), but I haven’t had any on hand when preparing this.


Cakelaw said...

Your pasta and the gingebread pancakes sound good. Eloise is adorable - although when she shakes off the rain, I'll give her a wide berth.

Megan said...

What a fantastic recipe! Well, both actually, but I will definitely make the garlic noodles.

My dogs HATE the rain - and we had plenty of it this weekend. My house smelled of wet dog for the better part of Sunday. Yuck.

Kayte said...

Looks really really wonderful. Love the doggie always.

Leslie said...

We love garlic so this looks like a keeper! Eloise looks like she enjoyed the pancakes, if not the run in the rain!

Anonymous said...

Love Eloise! She's beautiful! Please dish me up a bowl of the pasta. It's perfect.

Anonymous said...

Both the pancakes and pasta sound like great comfort food. I love a garlicky pasta!

Eloise looks elegant even when she's wet!

JoAnn Freda said...

Okay, I can't ignore the fact that this blog post begins like a bad novel "It was a gray and rainy morning..." however, all is forgiven for giving me this pasta recipe that has ingredients that I pretty much always have in the house.

Unknown said...

I love simple pasta dishes! What could be better than a delicious, easy meal on a Monday night? I'll definitely be trying this one :)

spike. said...

both the pancakes and pasta sound like perfect cold weather food. I think I've had more hot chocolate then I should since the temp dropped in the last week