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« Strawberry tart with a crunch | Main | Micro-organisms and fermented foods: black beans »

March 23, 2004



Alberto-your method sounds good. I've had trouble in the past with making this dish. It either comes out way too oily or with too little of my beloved garlic taste. I like the addition of a chilli and I've never tossed in parsley, perhaps that's what I was doing wrong. I'll have to try again soon.

totally unrelated to this post but judging from the comment you left at Blue's site...heres a link I think you might like


I love the 'raw' version - and I've taken the liberty of linking your story to today's post at my site.


Deb: cool link, thanks! About the pasta: it is supposed to be a bit oily (that's why using a tasty olive oil is a good idea) although not too much. On the other hand there are many "derivate" recipes which use other ingredients and a tad less oil. I'll be posting about them soon... maybe they fit your taste better.

lazyhandkitchen: thanks for the link and nice post!


I have seen on Lidia Bastianich's Television show a method whereby the garlic is sauteed in olive oil, then parsley is added, and then a substantial amount of the pasta water is added (maybe a cup?). The pasta is then added, while it is still partially uncooked, and it cooks together with this garlic/parsley broth until the water is absorbed and the pasta is cooked through. The garlic is not crisp at all, of course, but it does taste good. I'm wondering if this is an Americanization, or an alternative technique you find in Italy.


Josh, the technique is indeed used for some pasta dishes at home and from what I've heard very often in restaurants. On the other hand I've never seen it used for aglio e olio. I have to admit I have a mixed opinion on Lindia Basitianich, at least from what I've seen or read. She does a great job on Northern Italian cooking but Southern is not really her home-ground. There's one video of her available online on PBS where she talks about pasta with broccoli rabe... let's just say I was shaking my head a lot :-)


I actually have the cookbook, and you might be interested to know that the title she gives for this pasta is "aglio e olio"! However, it does come from her cookbook on Italian-American food, so this might reflect one of those American transformations of a classic Italian dish.

I believe she is from Istria. Is aglio e olio strictly Souther Italian?

Now, what did she say about broccoli rabe to get your head shaking?!


hi alberto,
I really like the sound of your version... with the crispy garlic and parsley, that's right up my alley.
and of course being chinese, I would probably drop in a good 2 cloves of garlic ; )

I'm glad you mentioned the dried chilli, b'cos I've always wondered about that.
here in Asia, aglio e olio is almost always (or at least a large part of the time) billed as a "spicy pasta" dish. and it does get cooked with a fair bit of chilli heat.
and I always wondered whether the Italians would really put so much chilli, if at all in their pasta.
so now I know... you do, but just not the amount it is done here. : )


Josh, yes aglio e olio is quite strictly southern Italian, or better found diffusely from Rome downwards. Dried semolina pasta, apart around Liguria (Genova and surroundings) is a relatively new to Northern Italy. My granny, who came from Mantua, told me once she cooked dried pasta for the first time sometime in the 50s. Regarding the orecchiette and broccoli rabe dish there were a few things that were just incorrect but the worst were the following:

-she claims the dish comes from Calabria but the dish is a classic (if not THE classic) of Apulia. Maybe not a big difference for the American public but quite a big one for us Italians. I have a friend from Apulia to whom I showed the video... I'd better not repeat her comments here ;-)

-she uses butter for cooking the rabe, something a southern Italian would never ever do. Southerners mostly dislike butter (with the exception of its use in pastry).


Renee, both garlic and chilli amounts are subject to one's taste :-). The amount of garlic can be increased quite a bit. I once made some for me and a garlic-loving friend using 1 head of garlic for the two of us... a bit too much for me, but still quite nice. The use of chilli varies very much from region to region in Italy. Most people would use a light touch so to have only a slight "tickle" of the tounge. Some though go quite heavy on chilli. In Calabria (the tip of the boot, if you look at Italy) chilli is used in big amounts (and are quite the macho thing ;-)): there the oil or the aglio e olio could easily be tinted red from the chillis.

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