aglio olio

To say my routine while working in Italy was rigorous would be an understatement. On Mondays, I would travel extreme distances to see friends who were working all over the country. Those days were marathon tourist sessions that would rival the amazing race, resulting in missed trains and getting lost walking on dark country roads during rain storms. On the occasions when I had two days off in a row, a few of us would stay together, drink ridiculously cheap Sangiovese and eat massive amounts of cured meats, pasta and pizza. We worked in some of the best restaurants in the country but couldn't afford to eat in them, so we would buy bucatini pasta and make aglio olio - truly a peasant dish of garlic and chili slowly simmered in olive oil - we'd top it with parmiggiano and be so deliriously happy to be sharing a meal with someone who spoke our language. I purchased a Spiralizer to be able to recreate some of those comforting meals without the gluten.  Zucchini noodles, barely cooked, are toothsome and similar enough to fresh pasta. Now if I could only recreate those perfect little tortelli stuffed pastas in paleo form...

aglio olio with zucchini noodles
serves 2, or 1 for a big lunch

1 zucchini, ends cut off
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smushed
1 tsp pepperoncino, chili flakes
1/2 tsp lemon zest or 1 strip of peel julienned
1 tsp capers, rinsed off
1 tbsp pine nuts
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
basil, 1 sprig, rough chopped

In a shallow saute pan let olive oil, garlic, pepperoncino, lemon zest and capers steep on low heat for at least 10 minutes. The garlic can take on a bit of colour, but be careful not to burn it - keep the temperature low.

While the oil is steeping Spiralize one zucchini. Set aside.

After 10 minutes, add pine nuts to olive oil. Turn heat up to medium-low and let pine nuts cook for 2 minutes.

Add zucchini, salt and pepper and turn up to medium for about 3 minutes. Zucchini should still have a bit of a bite. Top with basil and enjoy!

tag #frompastatopaleo on Instagram to show me your finished dishes!