Whole garlic cloves are caramelized stove-top in an olive oil and butter bath until they turn a gorgeous shade of warm, golden brown all the way through to their very centers. The cloves are briefly simmered in tomato sauce then tossed with spaghetti and fresh basil before being served with Romano cheese.
Sweet yet still pungent, soft and a lot mellower than their raw form, the caramelized garlic truly melts in your mouth. The sweet basil and sharp bite of the Romano cheese try hard to balance out the strong, earthy flavor it brings but the garlic dominates. And rightly so with 3 bulbs of garlic in the mix!
In case you’re wondering, I popped these right in my mouth whole. All 40 cloves. Like some kind of crazy, Italian-girl candy.
You see, my family was away. This is how I party. By eating leftover garlic candy with spaghetti wrapped around it for three or four days. In a row.
Thank goodness for them they were away! I’m fairly certain you could smell me from a mile off, like garlic was braided into my hair.
If you’re bashful, faint of heart or the thought of eating garlic cloves whole just plain scares you then mash them up and mix them into the sauce.
But before you do that, know this: eating them whole is way more fun. . . it feels naughty. Sinful. Kind of daring. Like you’re doing something you shouldn’t.
And that’s about as close to living on the edge as I get.
Sweet and pungent, caramelized garlic cloves dominate this spaghetti and tomato sauce.
- Add garlic, olive oil, butter and salt to a 9-inch skillet over low heat, bring to a slow simmer (tiny bubbles) and cook for 25-30 minutes turning the garlic every 5-10 minutes so all sides are lightly and slowly browned.
- In a large saucepan heat the sauce, doctoring it up with spices, salt and pepper as needed. Add garlic and most, if not all of the oil/butter. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook spaghetti to al dente in plenty of salted water. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water; add pasta, pasta water and basil to sauce, stir gently and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Serve with fresh grated Romano cheese.
*Depending on how saucy you like it.
Inspired by The Best Thing I Ever Ate