Garlic and olive oil (known as aglio e olio) are the quintessential flavours of Italian cuisine. This dish is one of our family favourites. It's very simple, but timing is crucial, so prepare everything before you begin cooking. The vegetables must be done by the time the pasta is cooked. You can vary this recipe endlessly, depending on your mood and what you have on hand.
1 carrot, thinly cut into 3-4 cm julienne strips
10-12 asparagus spears, cut on the diagonal into 4 cm lengths (discard tough ends)
3 tbsp Clearspring Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 3 teaspoons)
50g Clearspring Shiitake Mushrooms, discard stalks and thinly slice caps
250g Clearspring Semi Whole Wheat Spaghetti
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
50g Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
Clearspring Traditional Sea Salt or herb salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1. Place carrots in a steamer basket over 2 cm boiling water, cover, and steam for 3 minutes, or until just cooked. Rinse carrots with cold water until cool and set aside. Add the asparagus to the steamer and steam for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan or sauté pan over a medium-low heat, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the shiitake and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes, or until the shiitake are tender.
3. Bring plenty of salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti, stirring until the water returns to a rapid boil.
4. While the spaghetti is cooking, place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl along with the basil, olives and a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Add the steamed carrots, asparagus and parsley to the shiitake and sauté over a medium heat to warm the vegetables. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
6. When the spaghetti is ‘al dente', drain, reserving about 125ml of the cooking water, and immediately toss the spaghetti with the basil and olives. Add the vegetables, mix well, and serve immediately, adding a little of the reserved cooking water, if the pasta begins to stick together.