This recipe serves four, and could easily be called Pasta with Forty Cloves of Garlic. I find that it is easier to cook the garlic in a larger quanitity, but you can adjust the proportions for one or two servings.
Pasta with Preserved Lemons, Garlic and Chili
- 1 pound tubular pasta such as penne
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 40 cloves of garlic, peeled (pre-peeled garlic is fine)
- 2-4 large preserved lemons (preferably homemade, store-bought acceptable)
- 2-4 anchovies
- 2-8 pickled chilis (these vary widely, I use Roland, which are about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan or grana Padano
- Bring a large (4-6 quart) pot of water to boil (This is the first thing you should do when you get home if you are even contemplating making past, not that people do this much anymore.) Salt the water more lightly than you might for pasta ordinarily since it will be dressed with salty ingredients, about 2 tablespoons for this quantity of water.
- Put the garlic and seven tablespoons of butter in a small pot on medium heat. When the butter melts, turn heat down to medium low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. You want the garlic to brown very lightly, but be careful that it does not burn.
- Pour the garlic and butter through a coarse strainer into a medium skillet. Transfer the garlic to a cutting board. It will crisp up a bit as it cools.
- Remove the pulp from the preserved lemons, and sliver the peel.
- Put the pasta into the boiling water. Depending on more variables than I can list here, it will probably take between 8 and 10 minutes.
- Put the slivered preserved lemon into the skillet with the butter and saute on medium heat until lightly brown. Be careful that the butter, which will contain some brown residue, does not burn.
- Add the chopped chili to the pan and saute a minute.
- Add the anchovy filets and mash into a paste.
- Slice the garlic. and add to the pan with the other ingredients. Add the parsley and cook for about 30 seconds. You don't want to cook it but you don't want it to be quite raw either.
- Scoop out a coffee cup of pasta water and set aside.
- Drain the pasta and put it into a warmed serving bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and half of the grated cheese. Dump on the ingredients from the skillet and mix into the pasta.
- Serve quickly in warmed pasta bowls with the remaining grated cheese.