Thursday, May 30, 2013
Pasta with garlic & hazelnuts
I just couldn't not think about Christmas. Last night, I mean. As I was cooking this stuff.
See, nine out of ten times Aunt Rita serves a version of this pasta to start off our big family meal on Christmas Eve. That would be right after we've plowed through a couple trays of Anna's baked clams, of course.
First thing to do is lightly toast the hazelnuts, either in a pan (as shown) or on a baking sheet in the oven. This is around two-thirds of a cup of nuts and it took less than five minutes to toast them. Then set them aside for later.
Saute a couple good-sized garlic cloves and a little crushed hot pepper in extra virgin olive oil.
Okay, you can consider this next step optional. Those are anchovy fillets I've added, but I know a lot of you don't go for that and so skip this step if you want. (I'd up the amount of garlic, though.)
Add the hazelnuts and turn up the heat to high. (I've left the nuts whole here but you can lightly crush them too if you like.)
Add your pasta of choice (angel hair here) and enough of the pasta water (be sure to save a couple cups) to keep things moist. This is around a half pound of pasta and I used a good half cup of the pasta water. (About the water: It's a pretty important ingredient in this dish, so make sure that it's very well salted.)
And there you go. Christmas in May.
Aunt Rita would've liked this version, I'm pretty sure.