Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Habanero Garlic Pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes of the Babe's. Sadly, I really can't indulge as much as I'd like, as the pasta is really bad for diabetics. I made it for us a few weeks ago and decided to photograph the process so I could publish it here. Mangia, mangia!

Habanero Garlic Pasta


  • 8-12 peeled cloves garlic (good-sized)
  • 1 fresh habanero (dried will work if you soak it in hot water to soften)
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound angel-hair pasta
  • ½ cup shredded (not grated) romano or asiago cheese
  • finely minced fresh parsley (optional garnish)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Start a pot of well-salted water for boiling the noodles.

  2. Slice the peeled garlic gloves into thick slices, about 4-5 slices/clove. The amount of garlic is a matter of taste, so be sure not to over-garlic this.

  3. Slice open the habanero, remove the seeds, pith, and stem, and slice as finely as possible into thin threads of habanero.


    • Wear a glove on your left hand—a plastic sandwich bag or spare plastic grocery bag will do nicely—so that your skin never, ever comes into direct contact with the habanero.
    • Slicing into fine threads can be done easiest with the point of the knife on a chopping block if you prefer.
    • Be careful when cleaning up so you don't get habanero juice on you from the cutting surface or the knife.

  4. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the olive oil, and heat over a medium heat until a bit of garlic dropped in sizzles very gently.
  5. Put the angel hair pasta in the (now boiling) water.

  6. Immediately put the garlic and habanero into the olive oil. The ingredients should sizzle gently. Stir with a wooden spoon to break up any clumps and to ensure that everything browns evenly.

  7. Cook the garlic and habanero for 5 minutes or until the garlic starts to caramelize slightly. The angel hair pasta should be done by now (check for doneness). Remove the skillet from the heat. Caution: Don't let the garlic overcook or it’ll get hard and crunchy and taste slightly burnt.

  8. Remove the pasta from the heat and take to the sink. Add 1 cup of cold water to the pot, then drain immediately into a colander. Return the pasta to the pot.

  9. Drizzle the oil/garlic/habanero mix over the noodles. Use a fork full of noodles to swab out the skillet and get the last of the oil and the garlic and habanero pieces.

  10. Toss the pasta gently to mix.

  11. Put 1/4 to 1/3 of the pasta on a plate. Dust with salt and pepper. Put 2-3 Tbsp of the shredded romano cheese in a line or an “X” across the pasta. If desired, sprinkle with 1 tsp. of finely minced fresh parsley for garnish (be sure to try the dish with and without; parsley may compete with the other flavors too strongly for your tastes).

  12. Serve.
You can vary the amount of garlic and habanero—I've had it up to as much as 2 balls of garlic and 3 habaneros—but go slowly with your experimentation. It's shockingly easy to get it too strong or too hot for your tastes.

1 comment:

Barrie said...

John, tonight I made pesto vegetables... mushrooms and also red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. A good alternative to pasta... I like your tips about glove/bag on hand for habanero protection. Safe peppering!