No Sauce Pasta
No Sauce Pasta, as the name suggests, is an easy to prepare noodle dish without tomatoes. It is one of my favorite pasta preparations and for a few good reasons: First, making this pasta meal is easy; second, it requires only a few ingredients; and third it is ready to eat in under 20 minutes. Lastly, the short ingredient list means you can savor the components, thus enjoy the meal even more. Healthy meals come from our kitchens and this one more than satiate the appetite. When healthy cooking may seem daunting, this meal, despite its simplicity, is flavorful, exceptionally satisfying, and a better alternative to takeout.
Pasta is a great food product, and I have tasted sweet and salty preparations. Unimaginable at first, though surprisingly delicious, was a treat drenched in honey. At any rate, the deliciousness and delicate flavor made that experience one for the record book. Insha'Allaah, I'll publish the recipe in the future. Comparatively, we are more familiar with salt as the flavoring agent in our noodles. Baked or boiled, pasta at the table is pleasing to everyone, young and old.
Aromatic Herbs – Le Erbe Aromatiche
No Sauce Pasta has a handful of ingredients. They are fresh garlic, olive oil, hot pepper flakes, and cheese. You can mince garlic either with a knife, mash it through a press or use a mortar and pestle. I have a wooden one which is common in the Caribbean and Latin American kitchens. More garlic flavor releases into your meal as a result of finely mincing it. Therefore, you can readily decide the strength of the garlic flavor that reaches your palate.
Olive Oil, the Extra-Virgin variety, is the highest quality and the most flavorful. I visited my girlfriend, Silvia, in her hometown, Pietrasanta, Tuscany. Several days before arriving, her neighbors went to a nearby olive orchard bringing home bottles of pure oil. For a tired traveler, homemade bread, drizzled with freshly pressed Olive Oil, and sprinkled salt gloriously replaces the vending machine and pressurized cabin foods. Notwithstanding the long flights, that was the best tasting piece of bread I ever had, and the oil was effervescent, fruity, and delightfully memorable.
Cheese – Il Formaggio
Some enjoy Hot Pepper Flakes more than others. Fortunately, it is easy to moderate the impact of this spice by omitting it altogether. However, for those who enjoy a tearjerker moment when they eat, adding a sufficient amount will give a personal twist to your dish.
The last of the flavoring ingredient is cheese. In my opinion, the best choice for this dish is Parmigiano Reggiano, aged for two years. At about $19 per pound, this is more expensive than the typical Parmesan cheese. However, there is no substitute for its sharp, nutty, and savory taste. In contrast to Parmesan cheese, use a moderate amount of Parmigiano Reggiano. Because of the full flavor, it is unnecessary to dump a large measure on your plate. Additionally, Parmigiano Reggiano leaves the palate feeling refresh.
Eat for Life – Mangia per la Vita
Still, unconvinced investing in Parmigiano Reggiano is worthwhile, then consider these points: Buying takeout will satisfy for one evening but cost more than a day’s work. Moreover, cleanliness of an eatery and hygienic practices of some workers create doubt. Furthermore, the money spent on takeout can buy enough cheese to last for many days and nights.
Unlike the other cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano comes from Italy. An imported cheese with that name was for sale at a local supermarket. After inquiring about the country, the deli guy offered the name of a nation on the North American continent. A land, without territories, called: Parma, Reggio Emilia, or Bologna. These are the regions in Italy, which officially produce this cheese.
Everyone at the Table – Tutti a Tavola
In Italy, No Sauce Pasta is usually part of the first course, followed by a meat dish. In my opinion, healthy cooking requires simple elements. For example; herbs, peppers, leafy vegetables, and good-quality cheese provide taste and nutrition. These ingredients originate excellent meals.
On the other hand, eating is emotional for some. Aggravating this condition is a proclivity to fats, salt, and sugar. Their prevalence in pre-made food exacerbates emotional eating. I favor, learning to taste the food and enjoying the flavor of the components. Thus, we will experience a meal from a better perspective. Generally speaking, eating is more satisfying if we savor the meal instead of being overwhelmed by it.
After creating this recipe, I imagined myself a culinary vanguard. So, with great excitement, I shared the news about this development with Giovanni, Silvia's brother. “Ah, lo chiamo Aglio, Olio e Pepperoncino. – Ah, we call it garlic, oil, and hot pepper flakes. – We eat this all the time here, in Italy,” he nonchalantly said.
I could not believe what I heard and was for a moment speechless. Culinary Vanguard, not I, but instead with great humility learned the Italians already stirred that pot, and probably by several hundred years. However, unlike them, I like adding sautéed onions and fresh parsley. I suppose the inclusion of those non-traditional ingredients, allows me to replace my Vanguard Crown with a Tiara.
No Sauce Pasta is an easy to prepare and nutritious meal. When one takes into consideration the elemental ingredients in food preparation and give them priority, then cooking a healthy meal is easy. The challenge is reprogramming ourselves to taste food. The aroma of fresh garlic and aromatic herbs plus the taste of a good-quality cheese are some of the ingredients for eating right. No Sauce Pasta is a healthy meal which is a regular part of my regimen. Clean, simple, and most importantly delicious.
Spread Love, Cheer, and Peace, insha’Allaah.