My idea of dinner these days has a new approach, well, not like new NEW approach but since I’m cooking dinner for me, myself and I, I want to make something I would want to eat with ingredients that I seldom use, and especially with fresh non-green vegetables. My mom has been a vegetarian about 8 years ago and I won’t say it hasn’t affect our household. Most of the time, vegetarian cooking are mostly chinese dishes at home and I hardly come across any vegetarian restaurants or cafes that are vege friendly, that’s NOT chinese style of cooking.
So in my last travel to Europe, my mom was with me and, of course vegetarian meals were pre-arranged. So I was hoping to get some new inspirations there but, mehhhhh it was so bad that they even served 2 sunny side-ups and tomato stew as a main. Come’on ??? A visit to Ottolenghi was planned but our tight scheduling didn’t allow us a chance to try. Oh well.
Ok wait, confession, this dish is not entirely vegetarian cause I added smoked salmon to it but originally, it was from Food52. I had some leftover smoked salmon from other pasta dish so I just added into it. Another change I made to this was to add raw zucchini pasta. Thing is, I had some leftoverrs from making zucchini fritters so I just shred it thinking maybe, it would be enough for 1 but it turned out my shredder was too fine and the zucchinis all stuck to each other. I quickly then put the kettle to boil and cooked some pasta. Also, if you have time, make the slow roasted tomatoes and it would pack in much more flavour. I didn’t cause I don’t wanna wait 1.5 hours later for dinner.
You can say I didn’t follow the recipe to the t but merely adaptations of ideas and concept is what I do. I can hardly remember how many tablespoons of oil went into the garlic confit or how much spaghetti went into this dish. Cooking at dinner at home for me is very casual, unless I cook for my family then I can get a bit #$@*& (heh)
But in all, I loved the flavours of this dish. Light, refreshing and vibrant with the addition of corns. Pasta doesn’t have to be drenched in sauce all the time, you know.
- 10 cloves garlic, unpeeled (for the garlic confit)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tomato, wedged (any size, color, shape, if using cherry tomatoes, about a handful)
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic oil (from the pot of garlic confit)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- handful of basil leaves
- ½ ear corn
- pasta for 1 (about 100-120g)
- salt & pepper to season
- Optional : smoked salmon, parmesan cheese shavings
- With a paring knife, puncture a tiny hole in each clove of garlic. Place cloves in a small pot and cover with the olive oil. If the cloves aren't completely covered, add a splash more oil. Bring to a boil. Turn down as low as the flame will go. Simmer until a paring knife slides in easily (about 15 to 20 minutes). Take off the heat and cool in the pan. Set aside.
- Shuck your corn. Get a large and wide bowl. Hold an ear of corn by the stem end with the opposite tip pressing down into the center of the bowl. Using a very sharp knife (serrated works well), saw the knife back and forth, working your way from the stem end down towards the bowl, cutting the corn kernels away from the cob as you go. Try to remove just the kernel layer (almost like a corn kernel rug). You don’t want to cut out tough chunks of the cob, so make sure the knife moves straight down without digging too deep. Rotate the ear and cut down again. Keep rotating and cutting off the kernels until the cob is bare. Turn the knife around and milk the corn by rubbing the dull side of the knife up and down the cob all the way around. Set aside.
- Place a large pot of water on high heat for the pasta. Add salt. When the water is boiling, slide in your pasta.
- While waiting for pasta to cook, spoon 1 tablespoon garlic oil (from the cooled pot of garlic confit) into a medium-sized pot. Squeeze 4 garlic cloves (keep the leftover confit garlic in oil for other use) out of their skins into the oil in the pot. With the back of a wooden spoon, break the cloves apart a bit into the olive oil.
- Warm for 30 seconds on medium heat. Add corn and salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to low. Add tomatoes. Stir for one minute. Taste. It will probably need a bit more salt or pepper. Adjust as needed.
- Add drained pasta and lightly torn basil leaves to the tomato/corn/garlic mixture. (add smoked salmon now if using) Toss. Add a few more splashes of garlic oil. Add more salt or garlic oil as needed. Add some parmesan cheese shavings. Serve immediately.