Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Creamy Spaghetti with Black Garlic and Parsley

I'm always excited to find a new ingredient pop up at me from the aisle of the supermarket, and it was during one (up until then) uneventful weekly shop that I saw this: black garlic. It's just one bulb of brownish-looking papery garlic, nestled inside a plastic pouch. I dropped it into my trolley and wondered what on earth it would taste like.


When I opened up the bulb at home, I found dark, treacly-looking cloves that had a real balsamic vinegar kind of taste but some how quite sweet at the same time. I decided to incorporate it into a pasta dish at first, and so made this for lunch. It was gorgeous. The garlic sweetens on cooking, leaving just a hint of that aged, balsamic flavour behind. There's no harshness there. It also melts away when it's cooked in olive oil, a bit like anchovies do. We loved it and it will become a regular on my shopping list, so look out for more black garlic adventures soon. For this recipe, try not to melt all the garlic down into the sauce, it's nice to have a few larger pieces in there amongst all that speckled creamy pasta.



Spaghetti in a Black Garlic, Cream and Parsley Sauce
Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves black garlic, sliced
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 150ml double cream
  • handful Parmesan, grated finely
  • About 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:
  1. Put a pan of salted water onto the heat and bring to the boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the sliced cloves of black garlic in a trickle of olive oil for about 30 seconds, until it softens. Squish it down so it infuses the sauce but keep some small chunks in there too.
  3. Pour in the cream and leave to bubble, cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring. Take the pan off the heat and throw in the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving about a cupful of the starchy cooking water, and toss with the creamy black garlic sauce. Scatter in the parsley and check for seasoning, adding salt and black pepper if you wish. Serve straight away, with extra Parmesan alongside.
Have you tried black garlic? How did you cook it and what did you think of it?