Friday, August 1, 2014

Garlic Mac n' Cheese

I'm allergic to cow's milk so we often try to modify recipes to keep me from going nutso.  I was able to eat just about everything until my early 20's so I know what I'm missing.  It's a bummer.

We had a staple growing up called Aglio e Olio.  (The g is silent and the e is barely said)  It's basically noodles dressed with sauteed olive oil, minced garlic, and salt.  So basic, so cheap, and SO yummy.

Anywho, one day I was joshing for some mac n cheese and a lightbulb went off in my head.  I'm allergic to cow's milk but not sheep or goat, and I had a huge block of pecorino romano in my fridge from Costco.  (Pecorino means it's made from sheeps milk.)  "What if I just shredded a bunch of this onto hot aglio e olio noodles?"  Oh man, it totally hit the spot.

Pecorino doesn't melt as well as other cheeses, so don't bother trying to get a gooey, liquidy cheese, just grate a very generous helping over your hot noodles and you'll be in business.  :-)

Here's the basic recipe:

  • Pasta (Most use spaghetti, but you can also use penne, farfalle, orzo.  Anything will do.)
  • Finely Minced FRESH Garlic or Granulated (Don't used jarred, it totally loses it's punch if you do.)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pecorino Romano (Cheepest at Costco.)  OR Mizythra Cheese, which is different but equally yummy.  :-)

Boil up the noodles.  Typically 7-8 minutes depending on the noodle type till "Al Dente".  While they are cooking combine a good size splash of oil with the garlic, some salt, and a very tiny bit of water in a sauce pan and warm.  This infuses the oil with that yummy garlic.

Strain the noodles and either place in the saucepan (if it's big enough) or return to your pot.  Coat with the oil mixture and serve.  If you find you are short on oil, you can always add more afterward and sprinkle a little more garlic and salt onto the noodles.

Plate it and then add a big helping of shredded pecorino over the top and serve!  You can microwave it for 20-30 seconds if you want to try to melt it some, but it's good just as it is.  Often I'll sprinkle some oregano onto it as well, just to change it up a bit.

Buon Appetito!

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