Aglio Olio with ham

“Try my favourite Aglio e Olio! It’s simple to cook.”

Aglio Olio (Aglio e Olio) can be easily prepared at home. This is a tradition pasta dish, but resembling Chinese stir-fried noodle dish with loads of garlic and dried chili flakes (chuckling). Another main ingredient of Aglio Olio will be the olive oil. This pasta dish can be eaten with just the minced garlic, dried chili pepper and olive oil, or top it with salmon, hams or mushroom slices.

I made Aglio Olio entirely plain with only the “threesome” sauce during our Western-style dinner the other night, when I had many other dishes to go along, for instances, Dark Rum Pork Chop and baked king prawns. But not this time, I made only the pasta dish for our dinner. Hams and meat slices were added into this simple pasta dish (shhh… tell you a secret.. adding pork slices was because I had some leftover raw meat in my refrigerator the other day. Just didn’t want to keep the meat for too many days. I used it in my pasta dish.. :p).. Yes, great taste it yields!

This spicy flavoured pasta dish might be a little too spicy for the children and whoever does not take spicy food. So, reduce the chili pepper flakes, as desired.

Ingredients
300 grams of angle hair pasta or spaghetti
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (and additional 1 tablespoon for coating purpose)
1 – 2 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper

Toppings:
50 grams of ham slices, diced or julienned
100 grams of pork meat, thinly sliced or julienned and marinated with salt, ground white pepper and corn starch (Optional)
Or any topping of your choice

A pot of water with salt added (for blanching pasta noodles)

Method
1) Boil a pot of water, add salt. When boiled, place pasta and cook for 6 – 10 minutes (depends on type of pasta used), or until al-dente. Remove from pot and drain well. Mix pasta noodles with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, coat well to moist the strains while reserving for later.

2) Heat large sauce pan/ wok with 3 tablespoons of olive oil over low-medium fire. Add in minced garlic and sauté till fragrant will do. No browning is required.

3) Place ham (and meat) slices into the frying pan, stir-fry for 5 minutes or until meat slices are tenderly cooked. Return blanched pasta into frying pan and add in chilli flakes, salt and ground black pepper, stir-fry to combine well, for 2 – 3 minutes. The noodles have to be tossed constantly during the 2-minutes stir-frying process, to avoid over-cooking.

This is definitely a healthier choice as compared to those white sauce pasta dishes.. A portion of this Aglio e Olio pasta with ham yields about 240kcal (without pork slices).

Tips: Choice of Angel hair pasta to fasten the cooking process as the strain is thinner and easily cooked. However, watch out your timing to avoid over-cooking. Otherwise, the texture of pasta might become too soft and lose its interesting bites.