This is one of ways I boost my family’s immunity during cold and flu season. The garlic is a great anti-viral, and the heat from the red pepper flakes opens up the sinuses. It’s essentially Pasta Puttanesca without the anchovy paste. I never follow my recipe anymore; I just eyeball the amounts to make sure I have a good pasta to “sauce” (it’s not really saucy) ratio.
Hell’s Angel Hair
1 lb. Angel Hair pasta (although I tend to use whatever pasta I have on hand, gluten free works fine here as well)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small head of garlic, cloves peeled and sliced thinly
3 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 tsp. oregano or basil (or to taste - also quite optional)
1 c crushed tomatoes (drained), or equivalent fresh, chopped (entirely optional - I actually hardly ever add tomatoes anymore; I’m all about the garlic!)
1/4 c capers (more if you like)
1/4 c kalamata olives (more if you like)
salt and (black) pepper to taste
Set your pasta on to boil, and drain it when it is cooked al dente. In the meantime, do the following:
In a large, deep sided frying pan, heat the olive oil on low-medium heat while you bust open all the cloves of garlic. If the oil starts making a popping sound, turn the heat down. You do NOT want to scald the olive oil!
Add the sliced garlic to the olive oil and turn the heat down to low. Don’t fall prey to the temptation of using a garlic press for this recipe! The bits will be too small and they will carmelize (or perhaps burn) and won’t taste right.
While the garlic is infusing the oil and getting soft and fragrant, chop your fresh tomatoes or just stand around enjoying the aroma of simmering garlic.
Stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and some salt and black pepper. Combine the spices well with the garlic.
Add the tomatoes and capers, then stir to integrate.
Now toss your drained pasta with this mixture (if your frying pan is deep enough, you should be able to do it all in there) and let it heat through. Serve and be well!
(Note: A little crumbled breakfast sausage in this dish always makes my husband happy!)