Linguine with Roasted Garlic Cream Recipe
Linguine with Roasted Garlic Cream

After the holiday culinary marathon, most cooks are kitchen-weary and looking for dishes that are simple and fast to prepare. Linguine with Roasted Garlic Cream gets A-ratings on both these fronts.

It's made with fresh pasta -- linguine or spaghetti are the best choices -- tossed with a delectable mixture of roasted garlic, butter, creme fraiche and Parmesan cheese. A soupcon of red pepper flakes and a generous handful of chopped parsley round out the seasonings.

Count on taking about 15 minutes to smash and peel the garlic cloves; then you'll need to bake them, unattended, for about a half an hour. The soft roasted cloves are mashed and combined with butter to form the major flavoring agent for the linguine. The latter, available fresh in most supermarkets, will need to be cooked only a few minutes in a pot of boiling water until it is al dente.

You can serve this dish as a tempting vegetarian entree or embellish it with some skewers of sauteed shrimp and chorizo, as I plan to do. Add a salad of arugula tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, a warm loaf of ciabatta, and some homemade cookies and fruit for dessert, and you've got an undemanding yet tempting menu for post-holiday entertaining.

Linguine with Roasted Garlic Cream

Serves 4

2 large heads garlic

1 cup olive oil plus more if needed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 pound fresh pasta such as linguine or spaghetti

Kosher salt

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano, divided

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more if desired

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, divided

 

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 F.

Smash heads of garlic with your hand to break them into cloves. Lightly smash cloves with the back of a large knife so that the paper coating is loosened. Then remove and discard paper coating. Place cloves in a 2-cup or similar size oven-proof ramekin or souffle dish and pour olive oil over cloves to cover completely, adding more oil if needed. Cover tightly with a double thickness of aluminum foil and bake until cloves are very tender when pierced with a sharp knife and light golden, about 30 minutes. Watch carefully towards the end of the cooking time.

Remove cloves with a slotted spoon to a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup of the oil in which they were roasted and the butter. Smash the garlic with a fork to combine well with butter and oil. (Garlic mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add linguine and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook pasta until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions, then drain in a colander and return to the pot. Add garlic mixture and creme fraiche; toss well to combine. Stir in half of the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of the parsley. Mix well. Taste and season with salt and with a pinch or two more of red pepper flakes if desired.

Mound pasta in 4 shallow bowls, and sprinkle each serving with some remaining Parmesan and parsley. Serve as a vegetarian entree, or add skewered sauteed shrimp and chorizo as a garnish.

 

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Linguine with Roasted Garlic Cream - Betty Rosbottom Recipes

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