I guess I should explain. This is not the heavy, creamy starchy white sauce that people think of when they eat Italian. This is a light, refreshing, yummy, easy (and healthier) one,called Alio e Olio. (We pronounce it more like A-YA E O-YO. Again, kind of a muddled Italian, passed down from generation to generation.) My Mom never made that other kind. This is the one my whole extended family eats.
This is best in the summer with all the fresh vegetables available. I remember eating this on my parent's deck with broccoli from the farm stand down the road. Laughing in the sunshine, and my mother was in the kitchen for as long as it took for the pasta to cook. And it is delicious..don't forget to put red pepper flakes and grated cheese on the table.
It's funny, a bunch of the food I make automatically , no recipe on hand, always feels like cheating to blog about. I just go on and make it. This is one of those meals. You can do it with just veggies, or add butter, and just fool around with it and make it your own. This is a very flexible base to start from. My 'recipe' is the best I can do out of my head, so here it goes.
Oh yeah, one important thing I wrote before, use the water the pasta has cooked in, it adds a depth to the sauce that mere water cannot do.
Simple White Sauce
(this is for about a 1/2 pound pasta)
2/3 cup olive oil (not virgin, regular. Virgin olive oil is for recipes that aren't cooked.)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or through a press)
1/2 cup cooking water
salt, pepper, basil
(in this recipe I added about a 1/4 cup white wine)
Cook pasta. Fry garlic in oil, don't let it brown, start over if you do. Add wine if using. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add salt, pepper, and basil. Add cooking water when finished.
For the above recipe in the photo, I did this sauce, but before frying the garlic I added the scallop and shrimp to cook, then followed the recipe from there. I steamed some broccoli on the side. I used rosemary instead of basil, since I still had some fresh in my garden under the snow. To please my daughter, at the end I added a bit of butter over the pasta.
Have fun with it!