My appetite has been rather poor for the past week or so. I suppose this has to do with the out-of-whack sleeping pattern. The constant drilling next door starting from early mornings doesn’t help (Why do they need to drill for the whole week from 9-5??). I remember reading somewhere that constant noise do have a negative effect on appetite. To add salt to the wound, the kitchen is where the noise level is the highest. Needless to say, it’s not exactly my favourite place at the moment. Fortunately, I do have another mouth to feed in this household so at least I’m not starving myself. At least I can cook (and eat) in peace at night. Even so, I’ve been keeping it simple.
And what’s the easiest thing to cook? Pasta in garlic and olive oil based ‘sauce’ of course. Also known as ‘aglio e olio’, this has become my favourite way of eating pasta. That’s a long way since the old favourite of Carbonara. The aroma of garlic and herbs never fails to pique my appetite. Usually spaghetti is used for this but I’ve ran out, so I’ve substituted with Angel hair. Shorter cooking time too which is a bonus. Of course, most of the time Aglio Olio is eaten plain but I like to add whatever vegetables I have on hand.
100g dry angel hair
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
50g of cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (traditionally chilli flakes but I don’t have them in my pantry)
big handful of chopped parsley
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
*It’s not traditional, but for extra richness I added 2 tablespoon of cream cheese too. Try it, it’s delicious!
Cook Angel hair pasta according to packet instruction. Usually only 2-3 minutes. Cook the broccoli with the pasta (for 1-2 minutes as well, so just dump in the same pot)
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan, and before the oil gets too hot, add garlic. Turning the heat to low, cook the garlic slowly until it starts to colour. Add mushrooms and cook for another minute or so. Then, add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and turn off heat.
Loosely drain the pasta and broccoli, add it to the pan and throw in the parsley and both type of cheese. Toss well. Serve it when hot. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper liberally. And also for me, a decadent addition of truffle oil.
Now isn’t that the simplest recipe you’ve seen? It’s better than Instant noodles! And better for you too.
So let’s hope my kitchen ‘dry spell’ wouldn’t last too long! Have a great weekend everyone!