TOCINOLIO; Filipino Spaghetti
by Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins
I love Ina Garten. She makes food look so simple and delicious. Recently, I caught the “chef” episode. She goes around asking chefs what they cook for themselves at home. There were several tasty dishes, but the one that stood out was the pasta olio, simply put, pasta with olive oil. With the exception of the Parmesan, I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. I decided to give the recipe a twist and a try. I added that Filipina flavor, TOCINO! So for my version, Pasta Tocinolio, I added chopped tocino and sprinkles of fresh lemon juice. The annatto marinated pork adds a light and smoky sweetness to the spaghetti entrée. The lemon gives the entire dish that fresh sour punch. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
16 oz packaged spaghetti (follow directions on packaging)
½ cup pasta water
Olive oil: 1 cup
Garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
½ lb of tocino, trimmed, baked and chopped
½ cup parsley, freshly chopped
For spaghetti, follow package directions. Remove pasta from water, but leave about 1/2 cup of pasta water for reserve. You will use it in the sauce.
Meanwhile, trim tocino and prepare into medium strips and thinly slice garlic. In medium skillet, add canola oil. Heat oil and add strips of prepared raw tocino. Cook until caramelized. Remove from skillet and set aside.
On medium, heat olive oil in large skillet. Add sliced garlic to the olive oil. Be careful not to burn the garlic, just heat until transparent. Add cooked pasta and reserved pasta water. Use tongs to turn and cook the noodles. Cook pasta until completely coated in olive oil, then add strips of tocino and chili flakes. Remove from heat and add parmesan, fresh lemon and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.