Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Mystery Construction

There is a mystery construction site near my house. I drive by it a few times a week and wait for the day they put up a sign saying what will be there. I'm so curious!! A few days ago, I took a detour and circled the site slowly to see if there were any signs that might determine what the building might be. (I know. Not creepy at all!) Nothing. I was so disappointed but so intrigued. The reason I am so curious is because I want the new construction to be a restaurant. It is the perfect size for one, it has windows all over, it looks like it has some sort of area that could be a terrace.  

The Mystery Construction
For someone who loves food so much, you can imagine how exciting it is to have a new restaurant open near your house. I started to daydream and to think what type of restaurant it could be. I pictured an elegant seafood restaurant or a nice Italian restaurant where I would have a delicious yet simple pasta dish with garlic, olive oil and parmesan followed by an espresso and cannoli for dessert. We would go eat there one evening and walk back home to undo the calorific damage.

I live in my fantasy world sometimes. I drift away in my imagination and end up in my own little land where Montreal doesn't have freezing weather and chocolate doesn't have calories. What's the point of having an imagination if it won't take you places? (even if the places are not real)

Well, my friends, the suspense is over and the sign is up! Turns out the sign has been up for quite some time now. It is placed at the end of the street, far away from the project and I am ashamed to say that I had seen it many times but had never made the connection.

It's a bank.

What's ironic is that I remember telling myself "OH I wish it's a nice new restaurant! If it's a lousy place like a bank, I'll be upset."

Although my dreams of going to that (fake) Italian restaurant are gone, I can still have that pasta dish anytime I wish at home. Here is the recipe for Ina Garten's Pasta Aglio e Olio (Garlic & Oil Pasta). It's Amazing (with an capital A) and is ready within 30 minutes.

Pasta Aglio e Olio (Garlic & Oil Pasta)
recipe by Ina Garten
yield: 4 servings

- Salt
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 1/3 cup good olive oil
- 8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch sauté pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don't overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

3. Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

Pasta Aglio e Olio

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