Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fusilli Col Buco e Rucola Aioli

A very nice Italian pasta for spring and early summer!  Fusilli Col Buco Pasta with Arugula Aioli!

     Garlic mellows so nicely when it is prepared as an aioli.  Aioli is popular everywhere in southern europe and around the mediterranean.  Arugula is popular in this region too.  The peppery fresh flavor of arugula tastes very nice in an aioli pasta.  For the traditional Italian style of flavoring or saucing pasta, the arugula must be finely minced like an herb and then added to the aioli.  Pureeing arugula with aioli will result in a green colored thin liquid aioli that will not cling to the pasta as well.        
     When aioli is used as a pasta sauce, the hot freshly cooked al dente pasta is placed into a mixing bowl with just enough aioli to coat the pasta with flavor.  The ingredients must be immediately tossed together, so the olive oil in the aioli does not have a chance to bleed out of the sauce.  A good aioli has no problem clinging to a pasta. 
     Long thin pastas are best for aioli.  Fusilli Col Buco pasta is like a long corkscrew shaped spaghetti or capellini.  Fusilli Col Buco is perfect for an aioli sauce!  
     Fans of aioli realize that the pasta is hot and the aioli is at room temperature when the two ingredients are combined, so a steaming hot plate of pasta is not expected by the customer when it is served.
     Aioli Recipe:
     I posted a picture of what a freshly made aioli should look like.  Just like when making mayonnaise, only add a few drops of olive oil at a time, while constantly whisking, till the sauce starts to bind and emulsify, before drizzling a very thin stream of olive oil while whisking!  Otherwise, the aioli will remain thin and it will easily break.  
     Very finely mince or puree 8 cloves of garlic.
     Place the garlic puree into a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 egg yolk.
     Add 1 drop of good quality virgin olive oil at a time, while constantly whisking, till the sauce starts to bind and emulsify. 
     Add a very thin stream of the virgin olive oil, while briskly whisking, till the aioli becomes a translucent while color and the texture becomes stiff, yet with a light gravity that is not airy.  The aioli should be lighter in texture than a mayonnaise and it should be able to stand tall in a spoon!
     Note:  A plain simple aioli is perfect the way that it is!  A small pinch of sea salt is optional.  A few drops of lemon juice is also optional, but not necessary.  Pepper is not an option.  Never add pepper to an aioli!
     The aioli can be kept refrigerated for 7 days.

     Rucola Aioli:
     Remove the stems from 1 large handful of arugula leaves.
     Very finely mince the arugula leaves.
     Place about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the aioli into a mixing bowl.
     Add the minced arugula leaves.
     Gently fold the ingredients together.
     Set the Rucola Aioli aside.

     Fusilli Col Buco e Rucola Aioli:
     Cook 1 portion of Fusilli Col Buco pasta in boiling water over high heat.
     When the pasta becomes al dente, completely drain the hot water off of the pasta.
     Allow the hot pasta to stand for about 10 to 15 seconds, so any moisture that may be clinging to the pasta has a chance to steam off!
     Add the hot pasta to the arugula aioli in the mixing bowl and immediately toss the two ingredients together, till the pasta is evenly coated.  (Toss gently, but quickly!)
     Place the Fusilli Col Buco e Rucola Aioli in a shallow pasta bowl.
     Garnish the bowl with a few arugula leaves.
     Serve with finely grated parmesan cheese or finely grated pecorino romano cheese on the side.
     Serve with warm Italian bread on the side.

     One fact that everybody knows about Italian food, is that Italian chefs know how to create the greatest flavors with just a few choice ingredients!  The flavor of this simple arugula aioli coated pasta entree tastes like the flavors of springtime!  Thats amore!  Ciao Baby!  ...  Shawna 

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