Garlic, olive oil and orzo
Three magic ingredients (and two more at are less important) that conjure up the perfect comfort food in my family. We started making this when the kids were just old enough to eat solid food this small and it has been a favorite ever since. It goes with everything, it’s easy and the ingredients can be kept in the pantry for use at any time.
Put on a pot of water to boil. You can hurry things up by starting with hot water and/or boiling some in an electric kettle first. Peel at least half a head of garlic (eight to ten large cloves) and very finely chop it into pieces that are about half the size of a grain of rice. I do this by slicing the garlic thinly one way, then broadly the other way so it is like matchsticks of garlic and then finely chop it the third way. But the rapid rocking chopping technique is fine as well. When the hot water boils, add a pound of dried orzo pasta (looks like grains of rice) and wait about five minutes. Put a frying pan on high and pour in about five tablespoons of olive oil. Let it get a little hot and then add about a quarter teaspoon of crushed red chili flakes. Wait about a minute and then add the chopped garlic and swirl it into the olive oil. Watch it closely and as it begins to turn toasty brown, turn the heat off immediately. By now the pasta should be just about done. When it is, drain it, put it back in the pot and pour the olive oil, garlic and pepper over it and stir thoroughly to coat it all with the oil. Serve but allow for people to add plenty of salt to taste. It usually needs it. Not only is it delicious, but vampires will keep well clear!
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