Aglio e olio with peas and walnuts
Don't deprive yourself of the foods that you like! That's probably one of the worst things you can do when it comes to trying to find balance in your diet. I love traditional pasta, but it's not good for you, which is why I don't eat it very often. I want this blog to be an accurate representation of me and what I believe in, which is balance and moderation, so that's why I'm sharing this with you. This is an indulgent, classic pasta dish that I took the next level with peas for natural sweetness, toasted walnuts for nuttiness and crunch, and fresh lemon to break up all the fatty olive oil goodness. Of course, to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of a good quality extra virgin olive oil, it should be eaten raw, not heated like it is in this dish. But, we're not feeding our bodies here, we're feeding our souls. And that's just as important!
This recipe is vegan, and can be made gluten free if you use gluten free pasta.
If you make this recipe and want to show off on IG, you can tag me, @gardentotableblog.ca!
Ready in time for water to boil + 10 minutes
1 pound durum wheat spaghetti
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups green peas, frozen
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
1. On your back burner, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Season with 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Read the rest of the recipe before you boil the pasta. Once water is boiling, drop in the pasta. Boil until 75% al dente (this should take about 5-6 minutes, but test it to be sure). Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water just before draining.
2. On your front burner, in a large sauce pan, (not yet heated), add olive oil, garlic, and walnuts. Use a wooden spoon to separate the garlic as much as possible, so it can evenly cook. (When they're sliced so thin, sometimes they stick together). Turn on the heat to medium. Let this cook for about 10 minutes. (Time it so that the pasta will begin to boil during the last five minutes of your garlic cooking). The garlic and walnuts will slowly turn to a golden colour. If they get too dark too quickly, your pan is too hot! Turn the heat down to low.
3. After your pasta has boiled to 75% al dente, use a mug with a handle to reserve about a 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water. Set the pasta water aside. Use tongs to drop all your spaghetti into the olive oil sauce pan. It will sizzle! Add the peas, red pepper flakes, and half of the pasta water you reserved. Continuously toss the spaghetti around with the oil and water to emulsify the sauce. If it looks too dry, or your pasta is still too stiff, add more of the pasta water. The starchy water you are adding to the pan will finish cooking the spaghetti, and thicken the sauce.
4. Take the pan off the heat. Add in the fresh pepper, half the herbs, the nutritional yeast, and the lemon juice. Season to your preference with salt. Toss to combine.
Serve in big pasta bowls with the remaining herbs for garnish.
This dish comes together very quickly, so you have to be committed to your stovetop during this time! Put your phone on do not disturb, because answering one text could make or break this whole thing.
I haven't tried this with gluten free spaghetti, but I'm sure it wouldn't be too different. You may have to adjust the cooking time to make sure your pasta doesn't end up too soft. If you try it this way, please let me know how it turns out!