One way is to peel raw red and yellow bell peppers with a knife and cut the ''meat'' into 1 by 1 inch squares. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add a few garlic cloves, which you fry. Discard them and add the peppers and fry on a medium heat for like 15 minutes, until caramelized. Toss this with torn up basil leaves, pasta (ridged varieties are probably best) and some parmesan.
Another way is to heat some olive oil, add garlic cloves, fry, discard, add cut up and previously soaked dried mushrooms (any edible species of bolete family is good - I always use what I was able to hunt), fry a minute or two, add chopped tomatoes with some crushed chili and cook for about 10 minutes. Finally, add a tin of tuna, stir, and toss this with spaghetti and some chopped parsley.
Another way is the classic pesto - in a mortar crush some peeled garlic with coarse salt, add a spoonful of pine nuts (or walnuts), a handful of basil leaves and crush it all to paste. Then add a few spoonfuls of olive oil, grated parmesan and pecorino. Toss this, together with a spoonful of the cooking water, with linguine and if you want, you can also add sliced and boiled small new potatoes and boiled green beans, cut up. A more rustic way is to use the traditional trofie made with chestnut flour.
If you can get some bear's garlic when in season, a fantastic pasta dish is this: heat some olive oil, add halved or quartered cherry tomatoes (these will not be in season at the same time, so you'll have to look for a good supermarket variety) and gently fry for about 10 minutes seasoned with sea salt and chili flakes (and some Greek oregano if you have it, but not essential). Cut the bear's garlic leaves into chiffonade and toss this and the tomatoes with good-quality spaghetti and pecorino romano.
One more way that comes to mind is this: heat some olive oil, add a little chopped onion and sweat it, add some tomatoes (canned, cherry or so), some black olives and some capers and anchovies if you like them, fresh oregano and cook for a few minutes. Toss with spaghetti.
And finally, heat some olive oil, sweat some sliced onion, then some tomatoes and then blanched and split (if you wish) green fava beans, cook for a few minutes, then toss with southern-style pasta like strascinati or orecchiette and lots of blanched rocket. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Edited by Slayertplsko - 1/16/13 at 4:03am