Every week we try to spend one night for dinner with each of our families; last week I went for dinner with Kierans family and his brother cooked us the most simple but delicious pasta dish, layered with beautiful flavours.
Aglio e Olio basically translates from Italian to garlic and oil, which are 2 of the essential ingredients to this classic dish. Traditionally, no meat is served with the pasta, and it does taste great as a vegetarian meal, but for this recipe I decided to add chunks of juicy chicken and meaty prawns, as I thought they would be tasty with the lemon and parsley. You could choose to make it either way.
You will need (serves 4)
- A large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
- A whole garlic bulb
- Juice of a whole lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Tagliatelli pasta (3 nests per person)
- Red pepper or Chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 Chicken Breasts – optional ingredient
- Large Prawns (about a handful each) – optional ingredient
Dice the chicken into chunks that are roughly 1 inch cubes. In a frying pan, put in all of the chicken and prawns, season with salt and pepper to your taste and cook. In a saucepan, you’re going to want to add your pasta, and fill the pan with boiled water, so that all the pasta is covered. Add a few pinches of salt to the water and gently boil. This will take about 10 minutes on a low heat, while you cook the rest of the dish.
Finely slice your garlic. Pour the oil into a seperate large frying pan and gently heat for a few seconds. Add the garlic and slowly cook until it starts browning. Chop the thick stems ofr the parsley, finely dice and then throw in your parsley, lemon juice, and chilli or red pepper flakes. Stir it all in.
Add the cooked chicken and prawns, again stirring thoroughly. Drain the pasta and stir through the mixture. Serve immediately hot as pasta cools quickly.
And that’s it! Like I said before, you can leave out the meat and have it vegetarian, but it is delicious either way! I think it would be perfect to whip up in summer and have with a cold glass of white wine in the garden. I also put out a Mediterranean loaf which had olives and peppers in, some butter and Prosecco.
What a delicious way to finish my bank holiday Monday spent planting and building a BBQ! Of course the accompanying Prosecco helped!
We could be sat on the Italian coast for sure!