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Pasta: Garlicky goodness in every bite?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am a semi-semi-professional cook (I sous for some pro friends and do social-club meals) and really want to learn a technique.

 

On a few different occasions, I've eaten pasta that had a wonderful woodsy, nutty garlic taste seemingly embedded in each bite of pasta. Most often, I had penne with sausage and broccoli rabe, but once it was with orechiette puttanesca.

 

I have tried finishing pasta in a garlicky chicken or clam broth, tossing with garlic infused oil and a ton of other techniques, to no avail.

 

I would enjoy it hugely if somebody out there more adept than I (which means most of you) could respond.

 

This is my first post to the board; I hope to learn here.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Yanker

post #2 of 11

Not enough information to really nail it down, but "nutty" makes me think the garlic was minced and sauteed in extra virgin olive oil until just brown and toasted -- but not burnt and bitter.  It's a fine line, you don't want to work too hot and fast, nor too slow either -- and you definitely don't want to walk away. 

 

You can also try sauteeing the garlic in butter (with a few drops of evoo to keep it from burning) has been added which is then finished with some dry or fresh sage. If you can just brown the butter at the same time you just brown the garlic -- you'll know what they eat in heaven.

 

If you're handy with a knife, you might try slicing the garlic very, very thin instead of mincing.

 

BDL

post #3 of 11

  It's a bit tough to say...but going from your description I think of roasted garlic flavors.

 

  dan

post #4 of 11

Beat me to it, Dan. Soon as I hear "garlic" and "nutty" in the same breath I immediately think roasted garlic.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have tried roasted garlic mixed with EVO as well as sauteeing it--I need to know how to get that flavor into the pasta. And I often use a single-edged razor blade to finely slice garlic, just like Paul Sorvino in "Goodfellas"!

 

I think I'm a fairly good hand at sauteeing raw garlic--and it does take the right hand to prevent burning 

 

Traditionally, the rabe dish does not really have a "sauce."

 

But I thank you folks for your responses. BTW, great handle, BDL!

 

Best,

Yanker

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTYanker View Post

I have tried roasted garlic mixed with EVO as well as sauteeing it--I need to know how to get that flavor into the pasta. And I often use a single-edged razor blade to finely slice garlic, just like Paul Sorvino in "Goodfellas"!

 

I think I'm a fairly good hand at sauteeing raw garlic--and it does take the right hand to prevent burning 

 

Traditionally, the rabe dish does not really have a "sauce."

 

But I thank you folks for your responses. BTW, great handle, BDL!

 

Best,

Yanker


   I feel like I'm in a Sherlock Holmes novel...

 

    If it's a rabe feel you're after have you tried building the dish in the sautee pan?  Drop your broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes to get tender while you start the rest of the dish.  When the broccoli is tender pull it and I like to shock it in ice water...then dry dry dry it for later. Drop your pasta in well salted boiling water while you prepare the dish.  I would build the dish in the pan starting with the sausage, letting it get good and brown before turning in the pan to develop a nice fond.  Add your garlic (however you like it...) and cook in a little bit of the sausage fat, add some olive oil if you need to.  When the garlic is getting good and done add some red pepper flakes and anchovies, cook for a bit then add the broccoli to the pan.  Let this go for a while to get that broccoli nice and developed.  Remove your pasta when it's a little undercooked and finish cooking in the pan, add a little of the salty pasta water to help the noodles finish, scraping up the pan bits along the way.

 

   or you can add roasted garlic to some homemade pasta dough.  I'm thinking I wouldn't work it too much trying to leave it a bit as sporadic bursts of flavor.

 

   if that doesn't get it...grow your own garlic.  There is a WORLD of difference between home grown heirloom garlic and all the other stuff.

 

   

post #7 of 11

The flavor is in the oil - the garlicky, smoky goodness is transferred to the oil by cooking it in the oil slowly, and this is what permeates the whole dish.  

You'll want to cook this dish a LOOONG TIME and very SLOWLY.  Roasted garlic may do the same thing, but it won;t permeate the oil as will garlic cooked slowly in the oil will do.  Also i never encountered roasted garlic in traditional italian cooking - in fact, i;ve never encountered it here in italy at all.  You;re talking about a traditional italian dish, so i would suggest using a traditional italian technique.  I can give you some suggestions from how i do cauliflower pasta, which has the same effect, nice, roasted garlicky taste permeating every bite.  then transport it to your dish:

 

I cut the cauliflower in small flowerettes, and the bigger ones i cut lengthwise up the stem in half or quarters. 

 

Put the oil in a heavy frying pan - don't be just filming the pan, you'll need a little depth - think of making pasta aglio olio - the oil carries the flavor to the pasta, so that in between cauliflower pieces there is flavor.  So put enough oil that if you tilt the pan there is a nice puddle in the corner, (but not so much that it looks like a deep puddle when the pan is flat!)

 

For about four people Add five or six cloves of garlic (mine here are very big, you may need more) sliced (not mashed or chopped, just slices, maybe the thickness of a penny - they;re going to cook a long time)

Add red pepper flakes or a few tiny whole hot peppers. 

Add the cauliflower (yes, all together with the garlic, but in that order, the garlic and hot pepper is sitting in the oil, cauliflower on top). Add salt to taste. 

 

Turn on heat to LOOOOWWW.  Cover.  and let it cook very very slowly, mixing occasionally, until the cauliflower gets soft, really really soft.  It and the garlic will become barely nut brown in places, the color of caffelatte.  Cauliflower will be mushy.  Garlic will be soft and barely nut brown.  There;s your sort of nutty smoky taste.  If you blanch the cauliflower first, you will cut down too much on the time it sits in the oil and develops its flavor. 

 

This is the method usually used here for pasta dishes.  Now broccoli is slightly different and cooks differently, and has to be peeled, each stalk, each stem, and the tops can be problematic because they';re usually not as tender as cauliflower.  Broccoli rabe is even more so, needs to be peeled and sliced up the length of the stalks and they cut into pieces no longer than the pasta you use.  Generally people blanch it first, but it depends on how tender it is.  I would prefer, if using it to flavor pasta, to cook it the way i do cauliflower and after the first five minutes, add a little water and cover, cooking slowly, so that all the flavor goes into the oil, not drained into the sink.  If it's blanched first, you won;t get the same effect.

 

By the way, try the cauliflower this way.  I keep telling people and i think they think it;s not appealing.  I've made this for people who hate cauliflower and they loved it.  You mix it directly with the freshly drained pasta, make sure it's well mixed, and then mix in parmigiano. 

 

It;s the slow slow cooking that does the trick. 

 

let me know if you try it. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 11

You can easily make some garlic "confit" and at the same time produce a nice garlic-flavored oil to cook with. It's very easy to make.

Put a lot of unpeeled cloves of garlic in oil. I use a mixture of common olive oil and sunflower. Add a sprig of thyme. Put it on a very low fire (max. 90°C, 80 is better) and let the garlic infuse and get very tender for around an hour. The exact time isn't critical. Let the garlic cool in the oil. When cooled, you can squeeze out the garlic from the peel very easily. You can eat a lot of this without having problems with digestion. Even a fierce garlic hater will enjoy this.

 

A by-product is the oil. Keep it for frying things or to drizzle some over the pasta, salads, ets...

garlicConfit.jpg

post #9 of 11

Forgot to tell about the choice of garlic. In my country, and maybe elsewhere too, you have these all white garlic bulbs with fat cloves, roots neatly cut off, four of them packed in a white net, labeled; produced in China.

If you're using these, switch to the ones you can see in the picture above with a purple peel. A real biiiiig difference. The white ones have very little flavor.

post #10 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by siduri View Post

 

By the way, try the cauliflower this way.  I keep telling people and i think they think it;s not appealing.  I've made this for people who hate cauliflower and they loved it.  You mix it directly with the freshly drained pasta, make sure it's well mixed, and then mix in parmigiano. 

 

It;s the slow slow cooking that does the trick.


Siduri, thanks a lot for sharing this recipe with us. I absolutely LOVE recipes involving the simplest ingredients, but a very specific cooking technique to get a specific taste from those ingredients. I have to try that dish!! I like cauliflower, but I know if I tell my family "Hey, tonight I'm making cauliflower pasta" they'll start making long faces. But not a problem, I just won't tell them anything, it'll be a surprise.

post #11 of 11

I'm with the "slow cook in oil" (preferably EVO) camp, but I usually add just a little bit of fresh, pressed garlic at the end. It adds lively upper note to the flavors. A bit of red pepper flakes is a nice addition if you plan to toss the oil with pasta.

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