Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Vegan / No Cheese)
My next recipe is again from one of my favourite – Italian Cuisine. The cuisine is simple, uses fresh ingredients and unlike the Italian cooked in some of the restaurants these days, has flavourful herbs and cheese, coated with a decent amount of sauce and cooked in gorgeous Olive oil. Italian cuisine doesn’t mean cheese and cream overload, like how few restaurants serve these days which is a far cry from the authentic and subtle flavours of true Italian cuisine. In most restaurants, I have observed Pasta being bathed in a tomato and cream sauce where the hero i.e. Pasta and the vegetables along with the herbs are sidelined owing to the enormous quantity of the cream based sauce. Usually the sauces used in Italian cuisine are served in moderation, as per the quantity of the pasta to be consumed by an individual, which is usually 100 gms per person, so that the flavours are savoured.
Spaghetti Aglio Olio which translates as spaghetti cooked in Garlic and Olive oil is a classic Italian Dish and is a fairly easy recipe to rustle up especially after a long day at work. You can add the Vegan Pesto Sauce, which I had shared earlier on the blog to turn this into a Pesto Spaghetti or simply add some vegetables along with some Tomato concasse and serve with bread. Since the Spaghetti Aglio Olio has fewer ingredients (I am talking about the classic recipe), focus should be about using a very good quality of Olive Oil to derive the maximum benefit with finely chopped parsley or my personal favourite, fresh basil leaves finely shredded. If you love your cheese, serve this piping hot with some freshly grated parmesan.
I am sharing the no cheese / vegan version since this is more of my taste and is occasionally my go to choice when I have to cook for myself. I crave for pasta but I don’t miss the cheese at all. Self control is very important and I have learnt it in all these years. When I started the blog, I had promised myself that in the attempt to cook and share dishes, I shall not gain weight and neither would compromise on the nutritional / health aspects. A year since I started the blog in May, the non-fried, diabetic friendly recipes are being appreciated by friends and family, readers and blogger friends too.
Okay now an important question – How did I manage to turn this no cheese vegan pasta flavourful? Homemade Garlic Oil is the key here. I intend to also share the recipe for the herb oil I make at home which is phenomenal. Herb oil goes perfectly well with pasta and breads. So, this is how I manage to make dishes minus cheese. Use herbs, find alternatives – Planning healthy meals and enjoying pasta once in a while doesn’t hurt. Add a lot of vegetables. For 100 gms of Pasta I end up adding close to 500 gms of mixed vegetables, and we share this equally, so the ideal carb intake is 50gms per person. Smart right?
Check out the super simple recipe and if you are like me, who is cooking for herself and watching Good Wife on Netflix hoping that husband tries to reduce his travels and spend some time home, this is sheer comfort!
Recipe for Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Vegan / No Cheese)
Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cook Time – 20 minutes
- 100 gms Durum Wheat Spaghetti
- 8 cloves of garlic finely sliced or chopped
- 1 tblsp Olive Oil + 1 tsp of Garlic oil
- Few shredded or torn Basil leaves
- ½ tsp of Red chilli flakes
- A pinch of black pepper powder
- Water to cook the pasta as required
- Salt as per taste
- Cook the spaghetti (al dente) in salted and boiling water, drain and keep aside.
- Heat a pan or kadhai, add oil (just the olive oil) and then the roughly chopped garlic.
- Saute the garlic until it has lent flavor and has turned slightly brown in colour.
- Ensure it doesn’t burn else your pasta flavor will be compromised, garlic being one of the key flavouring agents.
- Now add the cooked Spaghetti, toss some salt, black pepper powder, red chilli flakes and some shredded basil leaves.
- Toss everything together and switch off the flame.
- While serving, drizzle the garlic flavoured olive oil and toss some red chilli flakes, basil and enjoy it piping hot.
- Always ensure the water is boiling and there is good quantity of salt added before adding the pasta for cooking.
- Pasta should be al dente which means cooked just right. Over cooking pasta leads to limp and lifeless looking dish and spoils the whole texture.
- If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, use the dry herbs.
- Use a good quality olive oil for best results.