I first ate this utterly simple but surprisingly flavorful pasta at the home of one of Desi's colleagues who had invited us to dinner. I had never been a huge fan of parsley because, perhaps like every Indian who's migrated to the United States, I bought it the first time in error-- thinking it was coriander, the herb we Indians cannot live without. I went ahead and added it to my curry and imagine my disappointment when instead of the fresh, lemony, spicy bite of cilantro, I tasted the herby but understated parsley.
I am too much of an herbivore to turn my back on anything green forever and over the years I did learn to enjoy parsley in dishes like tabbouleh and in soups. But it was Barbara's pasta that made me fall unequivocally in love with this herb.
One of the reasons, perhaps, is that it is the star ingredient here and it adds a fresh note to the pasta dressed in nothing else but some fruity, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and-- my addition-- a few red pepper flakes.
On to the recipe. Hope everyone had a great weekend and is all set for a lovely week ahead because at the end of it lies...another weekend!
Fettuccine With Olive Oil and Garlic
1-pound box of fettuccine (pappardelle's also great here). Cook the pasta to an al-dente texture in plenty of well-salted water.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp red pepper flakes (use less if you prefer)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic. Saute over medium-low heat for a few seconds until the garlic becomes lightly golden. You don't want to burn it.
Add the red pepper flakes and parsley. Toss to mix. Season with some salt.
Add the drained fettuccine along with 1/2 cup of the water you cooked the pasta in.
Mix everything and turn off the heat.
You need nothing more than a fresh, leafy side salad to make a delicious meal of this.
It's Holi in India today-- a festival that turns an already colorful country even more colorful because this is the day people get a license to smear each other with brilliantly colored powders and dyes, all in good spirit of course. In my parents' home, Holi was also an occasion to eat the gorgeous Puran Poli. If you haven't already tried your hand at making Puran Poli, you couldn't pick a better day than today to cook up my vegan version. Dunk it in vanilla soy milk for an extra-delicious treat.
Happy Holi, all!
Hungry for more?
Garlicky Orzo With Cherry Tomatoes
Whole-Wheat Gnocchi With Sundried Tomato Pesto
Penne Rigate With Creamy Edamame Pesto