This is my Eurasian rendition of spaghetti with garlic and oil. This dish scores 5 stars on my ultimate comfort food list. I kid you not when I say you can call me for this in the middle della notte.
I never hide my amore for Italian food. If I need a quick picker upper (something that restores ones depressed spirit) I could resort to a tiramisu. But for the savory treataly I go for spaghetti. Something you can prepare fairly quickly. I keep a well-stocked pantry aka treasure fault di Chef Jeff. It’s like money in the bank. You’re the capo dei capi with basic supplies on hand, I am always prepared to whip up a last minute-meal.
Why do I love this pasta dish?
I tell you why… perfectly cooked spaghetti al dente gets me in a state of joy. It’s the different textural events that occur between my teeth. The experience is enhanced with the dressing; a simple asian zesty garlic and chili oil mixture. When you taste it… your mouth is pervaded with an explosion of flavors. Plenty of umami going on due to the zingy, robust flavor of the Pecorino Romano cheese. Need I say more? Yes! Let me also mention:
It’s simple; just 3 ingredients (spaghetti, chili garlic oil, pecorino romano cheese)
It’s quick: within 15 minutes on the table – saving 5 minutes from original recipe with this Asian shortcut
Call me a culinary fusionist – I give you pasta with a Eurasian twist. (sounds like a line from a rap song)
I say: pasta i basta!
Now let’s get cookin’ for one person. Multiply at will.
4 oz. dried spaghetti
3 tsp. garlic chili oil (I prefer Lee Kum Kee’s Cantonese Chiu Chow style chili oil from China. See your local supermarket in the Asian isle)
3 tsp. Pecorino Romano, finely grated
- Cook spaghetti in saucepan of boiling salted water, around 9-10 minutes (see the packaging instructions, usually you subtract 20% of the time for “normale” cooking time. To check if your pasta is “al dente” start to take a bite in 8 minutes and observe – external is more yellow that the white core.
- Drain spaghetti, save 3 tablespoons of the water it was cooked in, put spaghetti back in pan, add the water.
- Add garlic chili oil and stir.
- Add finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese and stir. Ad more if you like.
- Plate the pasta and start twirling
- Bring to mouth and taste
- …… what did I say??!!