Monday, January 23, 2006
Aglio e Olio
That's what you're likely to get when you drop by in the evening, spur of the moment, without having eaten dinner. For those of you who don't know...I am 100% Italian by heritage (50% of which is Sicilian) - second generation Italian-American. So, essential ingredients that were always on hand when I was growing up in Chicago were ...linguine, garlic, olive oil, canned italian tomatoes, canned Italian tuna packed in oil...unheard of these days when everyone eats white tuna in water. Anyway, I too keep most of these ingredients on hand because you never know who might drop by hungry. And, as an Italian woman, you must never let anyone leave your home hungry - it's a disgrace to do so. In the past few days I've had the pleasure of serving up linguine Aglio e olio - linguine with garlic and oil. On Friday evening we started off the weekend with a last minute invitation to CanadianSwiss and Orange-x who, like us, happened to be relaxing at home on a Friday evening after a long week. Before we knew it they were on their way to our place for a visit. When I found out they hadn't eaten dinner...you guessed it...steaming bowls of Aglio e olio were served up. A good time was had by all! Roll forward to this evening. When I arrived home, around 8PM, TBF informed me that our friend Andy was dropping by to see the Denver/Pittsburgh game we taped Sunday night (Andy is from Colorado). When he arrived, around 9:15, I asked him the question all Italian women ask when you arrive at their homes...Have you eaten? His answer was no...and in a flash he had a bowl of steaming aglio e olio in from of him. Now, this is a very versatile meal. I have dabbled with lot's of variations and this evening I happened to have some artichoke hearts which were chopped up and added to the garlic, oil and crushed red chili sauce (I prefer crushed red chili in my aglio e olio). Other variations I've made through the years have included chopped steamed broccoli or chopped steamed asparagus. So, keep these simple things on hand and you and your friends will never go hungry - but you will smell of garlic! Ciao.