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Intensely garlic pasta balanced by Parmesan

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 12:01 am

The goal was simple — the most intense garlic pasta I could muster.

But there was a caveat. There is no joy in a dish that reeks of too much garlic or that is so potent it is inedible. I wanted a garlic pasta that was deeply savory and delicious, that dripped with garlic flavor in every bite, but pleasantly so.

The solution? A simple sauce made from garlic that is poached and pureed. The poaching mellows the garlic's intensity, but not its flavor. Combine the puree with grated Parmesan cheese and a splash of the pasta cooking water, and you have a pasta dish that is over-the-top delicious and outrageously garlicky.

This recipe calls for 2 cups of garlic cloves. And yet it calls for very little else. You will be amazed at the depth of flavor you get from so few ingredients. I'm not normally a fan of buying pre-peeled garlic, but I make an exception for this recipe. It would be a pain to peel that many cloves.

Fettuccine with garlic-Parmesan puree

Want to make this recipe vegetarian? Swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

2 cups garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups chicken broth

12 ounces fettuccine pasta

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve

Salt and ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine garlic and broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 12 minutes, or until broth is reduced by half and garlic is very tender. Transfer garlic and broth to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl.

Pour garlic puree over pasta. Using tongs, toss pasta with sauce, sprinkling in cheese as you do it. When cheese is nearly melted, drizzle in enough of reserved pasta cooking water to form a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then serve topped with additional Parmesan.

Per serving: 420 calories; 90 calories from fat (21 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 59 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 24 g protein; and 850 mg sodium.