Pasta is a staple in many Italian cuisines. It comes in many types and nowadays, choosing pasta is not just about the size, say spaghetti vs fettuccini, but also about whether it uses durum wheat (which has higher protein and gluten content) or whole wheat (contains three parts of wheat grain: germ, bran and endosperm). Whole wheat pasta is healthier but we still eat pasta made from durum wheat.
This year, I promised myself that I won’t be cooking non-whole wheat pasta. Unfortunately, I kept on breaking this promise because I still prefer the taste and texture of durum wheat pasta. Whole wheat pasta is gummy even if I cook it properly and worse, they can stick together! There was one time that instead of making a bowl of pasta, it became a ball of pasta. LOL! Yes, whole grain pasta is really healthy… maybe someday we’ll get used to it.
Tonight’s dinner still uses the old “bad” pasta. I used durum wheat pasta in cooking this Aglio Olio Chili or Aglio Olio Pepperoncino. This dish is one of the famous pastas in Rome. It’s a very easy and quick recipe and best of all, it requires only a few ingredients. To cook this dish, you’ll need dried chili flakes but you can alternatively use fresh red chili. I served this Aglio Olio Chili with Chicken Piccata which is now Alvin’s favorite combination for the month! The Chicken Piccata dish is also another simple dish to create. I will post a separate blog about it. If you want a vegetarian dinner, this Aglio Olio Chili is perfect for the night! Serving this pasta alone is already good enough!
- 250g Linguini pasta
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1-2 alternatively use fresh red chilli, sliced thinly)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (you can use 1-2 if you don’t want garlicky)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, until tender. (When you boil pasta, ensure that you put enough salt. I usually put 1 tablespoon for 1 liter of water.)
- Meanwhile, add oil, red pepper flakes and garlic to a large skillet over medium-low heat and sprinkle with salt. Cook until the garlic is light golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high. Toss the ingredients including the parsley. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Serve.