Here we are… in the final days of summer and I wonder where the time went. It is an odd time of season betweens. It’s not quite Autumn and the waning days of Summer are still warm, but a little less bright.
This is the time of the year I look to cook lighter versions of comfort fare. Dishes like light pasta, simply made but elegant meatloaf, and fish and meat finished with compound butters and served with lightly dressed fresh greens.
So, this week I’m sharing a recipe for my all-time favorite pasta, that also happens to be a perfect dish for when we are nearing summer’s end. It is simply made, flavorful, and comforting. This dish is what I think to make late at night as a light snack or for dinner as an ultimate cozy indulgence. If you love spaghetti… olive oil… garlic… and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese… This dish is for you!
I first had this dish about 20 years ago in a small Italian restaurant on Solano Avenue in Berkeley, California.
Unsure of what I wanted to order, the waiter recommended this dish that was not officially on the menu, but was the chef’s personal favorite. If a bowl of beautifully made ramen made with happiness by the chef can make your day brighter, then this spaghetti is pure love on a plate.
You will find many versions of this dish, but they are all basically the same with the base players being spaghetti, olive oil, and garlic. I like a little heat and add red pepper flakes. But, my hands down favorite version is to add fresh green peas. That is what I like the most of all the additions and stir-ins. I love green peas so much in this dish, I always have them in the freezer “just in case”.
Of course, everyone has their favorite additions. Some people like to add sun dried tomatoes, asparagus tips, diced and cooked pancetta or ham, crumbled bacon, their favorite fresh herbs, or crushed garlicky croutons. My husband says topping it with toasted walnuts is his favorite and I have to agree that is very tasty too.
But my favorite is… and always will be… green peas!
Today’s Recipe is: Spaghetti Aglio with Green Peas