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Friday, May 10, 2013

Recipe: Walnut Aglio e Olio

Aglio e Olio is one of the first dish that I whipped out in the kitchen. I mean, it's easy and the original recipe requires only about 5 ingredients (pasta, olive oil, chilli, parsley and parmesan), all that you can easily find at home. What else? You could even plus-minus the ingredients, for example, I do not have parmesan at home, so I substitute with crushed walnuts instead. Oh, look at the crabsticks and hotdogs lying in the fridge, why not throw them in as well? 

All in all, this fuss-free dish is simple and customizable, yet does not disappoint. Try it and get amazed at how the crunchy nuttiness of walnuts complement the usual aglio olio.

Difficulty: Easy
Yields 4 serving


500g dried pasta (of your choice)
1/3 cup olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, minced
8 sticks crab meat, cut into thin slices
8 sticks hot dog, cut into thin slices
1/3 cup walnuts, crushed

1/2 tbs red pepper flakes (adjustable)
paprika (optional)
ground black pepper and salt, for seasoning
parsley flakes


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tbs of salt and pasta, and cook according to the directions of the package, or until al-dente. Set aside 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the minced garlic under low-medium heat until golden (obviously, over-cooking will result in bitterness), add the red pepper flakes, crushed walnuts, crabstick and hotdog slices. Cook for another minute.

3. Add in the cooked pasta, give it a quick stir before adding salt and pepper. At this stage, I like to incorporate some paprika for a spicy-sweet taste. It's optional though.

4. If the pasta gets too dry, carefully add in the reserved pasta water, tablespoon by tablespoon.

5. Take the pan off the heat and add in the parsley flakes, toss it before serving.


1. Substitute the crabstick and hotdog for anything you like. Shrimps and real crab meat would be lovely.