Saturday, December 09, 2006

bye bye london, hello bombay!

today is my last saturday in london. it all happened really fast. both h and i are relocating to bombay for our respective jobs. we're flying back next thursday. we're taking a few weeks off to settle down and then it's back to work in january.

i'm sad to leave london after just a year in this fantastic city but i'm really looking forward to going back home after six years in america and england. can't complain much though as we've really lived it up for four years in san francisco, a year and a half in new york and a year in london. our friends tease us that we are steadily making our way eastwards every few years! by that count, hong kong is probably next in our destiny :)

bombay has changed by leaps and bounds in the time that i've been away. the food scene is especially eclectic these days and i can't wait to discover bombay's food secrets and share them with you. bombay has a tough act to follow after san francisco, new york and london but at the rate it's changing i have no doubt that i'll love it even more than i always have.

i look forward to seeing you back in january at my new blog. no prizes for guessing the URL!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

spaghetti aglio e olio

h loves his pasta as simple as can be. and the sure way to get him oohing and aahing about my cooking is to make his favourite kind of pasta - spaghetti lightly tossed in garlic, chili pepper flakes, fresh or dried herbs and olive oil.

i start by heating 3 or 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. this is just about enough for 2 portions of cooked spaghetti. depending on how much pasta you plan to cook and how oily you like your pasta, you have to use your judgement on how much olive oil you'll need.

when the oil is nicely heated, i add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and let it sizzle before turning down the heat so that the garlic does not get burnt. i then add half a fistful of chilli pepper flakes (h likes his pasta really spicy!) and another half a fistful of dried italian herbs. you can also add fresh herbs like oregano and parsley, if on hand, but make sure you add it just after tossing the spaghetti and not at this stage. finally, i add sea salt and freshly ground pepper and allow the sauce to simmer on very low heat.

meanwhile, i start boiling a big pot of salted water, cook the spaghetti as desired and then drain. i usually save just a bit of water in case i messed up on the proportions of aglio e olio and the spagetthi ends up being a bit dry. add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and toss well. you can add freshly grated parmesan if you like cheese with your pasta.

toasted baguette slices with a paprika garlic spread go really well with spaghetti aglio e olio.

thinly slice half a baguette. mix together garlic paste, paprika, salt and pepper. spread on the bread and toast lightly.

enjoy with a nice glass of red wine!