Wow, sorry it’s been a while. I seem to have stumbled upon a series of social opportunities this week that took my usual routine of EatCleanBlogBed and chucked it out the window. Happy news is that, while absent, I was off lunching at one of my favorite spots in Sacramento, Magpie (home of the carrot cake cookie!); enjoying course after course of handmade Italian fare at Osteria Coppa with some of my favorite ladies; and enjoying the original jazz tunes of the smokin’ hot Adam Walter Band at the aptly named The Cats tavern in Los Gatos. Who knew there was more to life than sweatpants and Netflix? Ah, the little things.
The sad news, unfortunately, is that while this return post is a recipe for, hands down, one of the most adored and frequently enjoyed meals in our house, it’s disappointingly simple. You won’t find any truffle oil, pools of glossy browned butter or fatty pork side here. But oh, this dish brings the flavor. Have you ever heard of the famed Garlic Noodles at the popular restaurant Crustacean (San Francisco/LA)? I won’t use the words dead ringer, but this pasta comes satisfyingly close. This is everyone’s favorite aglio, olio e peperoncino — with a little sumthin’ extra. It’s salty. It’s garlicky. It’s got all that savory brown-food flavor you crave, slathered on al dente pasta. And it starts with just a handful of simple ingredients that you probably have on hand right now.
How else to communicate the exponential deliciousness of this pasta? Ah. You know that special meal you want to make for yourself every time your spouse is on a business trip so you can guiltlessly eat the whole pan yourself? This. Is that meal.
Spicy Garlic Noodles (with Peas)
By Emily Stoffel
Cooking Time: 15 mins | Serves: 2
Note: ‘Fraid anchovies are too fishy? Fear not. Here, the anchovy paste (or fillets) gradually melts into salty, nutty goodness in the garlicky oil. You’ll be a convert after just one taste. Of course, if you’re shooting to make this a vegetarian recipe, you can omit the anchovy all together. I might just bump up the soy a smidge. The peas are also optional. I love peas, but I also love this meal without. Depends how much green you’re feeling, I suppose. (If you’re pro-pea, a quick shortcut is to throw them in with the pasta during the last minute of cooking — voila, hot, peas and pasta in one step!) And lastly, though I suggested above that there’s no pig in this recipe, an excellent variation would be to render 4 strips, diced, of thick cut bacon in the skillet before adding the oil. In this instance, retain the bacon grease and reduce the oil by half.
- 1/2 lb spaghetti or shaped pasta
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 2-3 anchovy fillets (or more, to taste)
- 2 T low sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Cook pasta al dente (follow package directions) in plenty of boiling salted water. Meanwhile, add olive oil, garlic, chili flakes and anchovy paste to a deep skillet or pot. Bring to a medium heat, using a wooden spoon to help dissolve anchovy paste into oil. Cook until garlic is tender, about 1-2 minutes, careful not to let garlic burn (lower heat if necessary). Add soy sauce and stir to combine. Using a spider or tongs, remove pasta from water and add to oil mixture. Add peas and toss to combine/heat through. Devour!