Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Simple Garlic and Olive Oil Pasta

I first heard of Jon Favreau's movie Chef from a friend who recommended it, "It has scenes in Florida, watch it" he said.

It didn't only have scenes in Florida, but it instantly made me feel really happy to be in Miami and have access to all this delicious food and culture. Of course, I had never set foot in Hoy Como Ayer for salsa dancing, I already had all the salsa I could carry in my Caribbean blood, but I was dying to go there  and reconnect with my people, and to New Orleans for beignets, and Austin for smoky BBQ. Roadtrip!

Now, it is my go-to movie for when I feel a bit homesick. I kick myself for all those times I looked down on my Cuban culture and croquetas de jamon and refused lunch invites to Versailles in Little Havana, and of course, all those times I said I didn't like pork and thus no Cubans for me, thanks. I was silly, I was a silly girl.

Aside from wanderlust and good old Twitter-feuding, this movie is full of delicious food. Chef Roy Choi was an advisor to the cooking in the film, having himself a famous food truck, Kogi.

While I think it will be nearly impossible to recreate and find an authentic Cubano in Paris, the garlicky pasta is simple to make for a quick dinner or if you have a tiny kitchen like me. All the flavors complement each other and stand out at the same time.

In the photo above I did not use spaghetti but rather penne (because I do what I want... or because I didn't have any and the store was closed), but if you want to follow the rules, you can:


Serves 4
(Or one person, all week until you can't take it anymore).

1 pound dried spaghetti 
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
12 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers 
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, plus more for serving 
Kosher salt and black pepper 
 ⅓ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped 
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, more for serving 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, lemon wedges for serving

I could tell you how to make it, but then you'd miss out on watching Scarlett looking gorgeous, so you're welcome.