Introduction: Habanero Garlic Pasta
This is one of my favorite recipes of the Babe's. Sadly, I really can't indulge as much as I'd like, as the pasta is really bad for diabetics. I made it for us a few weeks ago and decided to photograph the process so I could publish it here. Mangia, mangia!
Habanero Garlic Pasta
* 8-12 peeled cloves garlic (good-sized)
* 1 fresh habanero (dried will work if you soak it in hot water to soften)
* ½ stick of butter
* ½ cup olive oil
* 1 pound angel-hair pasta
* ½ cup shredded (not grated) romano or asiago cheese
* finely minced fresh parsley (optional garnish)
* salt & pepper
You can vary the amount of garlic and habanero—I've had it up to as much as 2 balls of garlic and 3 habaneros—but go slowly with your experimentation. It's shockingly easy to get it too strong or too hot for your tastes.
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Step 1: Boil Water for Noodles
Start a pot of well-salted water for boiling the noodles.
Step 2: Slice the Garlic
Slice the peeled garlic gloves into thick slices, about 4-5 slices/clove. The amount of garlic is a matter of taste, so be sure not to over-garlic this.
Step 3: Slice the Habanero
Slice open the habanero, remove the seeds, pith, and stem, and slice as finely as possible into thin threads of habanero.
* Wear a glove on your left hand—a plastic sandwich bag or spare plastic grocery bag will do nicely—so that your skin never, ever comes into direct contact with the habanero.
* Slicing into fine threads can be done easiest with the point of the knife on a chopping block.
* Be careful when cleaning up so you don't get habanero juice on you from the cutting surface or the knife.
Step 4: Heat the Butter and Oil
Melt the butter in a skillet, add the olive oil, and heat over a medium heat until a bit of garlic dropped in sizzles very gently.
Step 5: Add the Pasta to the Water
Put the angel hair pasta in the (now boiling) water.
Step 6: Add the Garlic and Habanero to the Hot Oil
Immediately put the garlic and habanero into the olive oil. The ingredients should sizzle gently. Stir with a wooden spoon to break up any clumps and to ensure that everything browns evenly.
Step 7: Cook the Garlic and Habanero
Cook the garlic and habanero for 5 minutes or until the garlic starts to caramelize slightly. The angel hair pasta should be done by now (check for doneness). Remove the skillet from the heat.
Caution: Don't let the garlic overcook or it’ll get hard and crunchy and taste slightly burnt.
Step 8: Drain the Cooked Pasta
Remove the pasta from the heat and take to the sink. Add 1 cup of cold water to the pot, then drain immediately into a colander. Return the pasta to the pot.
Step 9: Add the Mix to the Pasta
Drizzle the oil/garlic/habanero mix over the noodles. Use a fork-full of noodles to swab out the skillet and get the last of the oil and the garlic and habanero pieces. Toss the pasta gently to mix.
Step 10: Serve
Put 1/4 to 1/3 of the pasta on a plate. Dust with salt and pepper. Put 2-3 Tbsp of the shredded romano cheese in a line or an “X” across the pasta. If desired, sprinkle with 1 tsp. of finely minced fresh parsley for garnish (be sure to try the dish with and without; parsley may compete with the other flavors too strongly for your tastes). Serve.