Monday, January 14, 2008

Simple White Sauce (real name: Alio e Olio) with shrimp, scallop and broccoli

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!



Karen said...

That looks great! It reminds me of my mom's recipe that she passed down to me for pasta with white clam sauce. There is no real "recipe" - just cook by feel. Olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, clams with the clam juice (I used canned - she can get fresh), and fresh parm. cheese. yummy!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

I love those easy recipes. Funny how most of them involve pasta for me. I have a white clam sauce recipe too, although I make a roux for it, now with rice flour, and I highly recommend adding fresh parsley to yours, it tastes so good!


Carrie said...

I didn't realize that about virgin olive oil! That's the only kind I ever use! I'll have to get some regular and try this! I love sauces like this!! Ohhh... Karen that recipes sounds lovely too! With the clams!!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Carrie - That is something I learned from my family. We only use regular olive oil to cook in, virgin for uncooked recipes. using Virgin in cooked recipes does change the taste. Also, it is a shame to use a fabulous expensive virgin olive oil and not taste it.

Let me know what you think.

teeth whiteners said...

This sounds wonderful! I like the white sauce pasta dishes, but I always feel so guilty with the heavy cream versions. They are so packed with stuff that is bad for you!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Teeth - I agree!! There's nothing like butter and cream, but def. a treat, not for regular dining. I hope you enjoy this, it's a definite light sauce. :)

Deborah said...

thanks for sharing this recipe. it looks yummy! i never have enjoyed the alfredo sauce, this one looks light and scrumptious.

i also have never heard that before about virgin olive oil v. regular. i'm excited to buy a different kind than usual next time i shop to see what i think!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Deborah ~ Let me know what you think. The olive oil rule is one that's been in my family. Since they got taught how to cook from my grandmother from Italy, I always figured they knew what they were talking about. :)

Anonymous said...

so the Pasta is Gluten Free?

looks good!

Anonymous said...

so the Pasta is Gluten Free?

looks good!

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