Aglio e olio means garlic and oil. Originating from Naples, this pasta is such simple dish to make but so easy to get it wrong or bland. This dish is tweaked from the original Italian classic because we Malaysians need more flavour, and heat!
Serves 2 - 3 people
Before you start cooking, check lala one by one to make sure all the dead ones are discarded. Some of them have mud and bits of shells hiding in them.
3 cups lala, or more.. because more is definitely better
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 red chilli, chopped
½ packet spaghetti
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
5 pieces basil, chopped (optional)
1. Blanch spaghetti according to packet instructions.
2. Heat olive oil and sauté garlic until dark golden brown. Not burnt. Add in chopped chillies and sauté until the chillies are soft. Add in a little chopped parsley.
Saute garlic until dark golden brown to give more flavour to the pasta.
3. Pour in lala and and stir around. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to cook the lala faster.
Fresh lala gives a lovely seafood-y sweetness to the pasta.
4. Once all the lala are opened, discard the ones that didn’t. Add in pasta and a little pasta water emulsify the sauce to create a creamier, less oily texture.
Let the pasta soak up the lala juices and flavours from garlic and chillies.
5. Season with a pinch of salt and sprinkle in remaining chopped parsley. Add in a little drizzle of olive oil and the end and done!
Fresh herbs makes a world of difference. Flat leaf parsley and basil works best.
Each shell is a vessel of flavours. Lick the shells clean!