Cook garlic right, convert a vampire… Spaghetti with toasted garlic

Why do vampires hate garlic? Does anybody really know?  Have you ever met someone who just loves garlic, they seem to put it in everything? Garlic powder, granulated garlic, garlic salt, and then there is the biggest offender…jarred garlic.  Don’t even get me started with that bitter, chunky,wannabe food product in a jar.  I know there are many of you who are thinking  “Geez Louise! what’s the big deal about jarred garlic”? Let me just say this and then move on, jarred garlic is what Sunny Delight is to fresh squeezed orange juice.  Garlic done right is one of those wonderfully rich and aromatic flavors that can add a buttery richness to your dish and elevate it’s overall taste -OR- it can just as quickly take a dish down in flames with an overpowering bitter and sharp aftertaste that will leave you wanting to brush your teeth… twice.   Maybe…vampires have only had burnt jarred garlic?

The pasta had such a gorgeous color that I didn’t want to cover it up in a heavy sauce, so I opted for a glossy infused olive oil.  Fresh- fresh- fresh- garlic is the key to this basic preparation.  Equally important is to have good quality extra virgin olive oil, one that you could eat with a spoon if necessary. If I haven’t mentioned to you before, I’m an olive oil fanatic.  I pick up a new bottle whenever possible, and yes, I bring it home and taste it by the spoonful.  Okay, where was I?  Oh yes, be ever so careful to not burn your garlic or the dish will be ruined.  The color of the pasta reminded me of a little birds nest, so I topped it with a crispy egg and some rendered bacon.  The basil from my garden added the last bit of earthy green garnish. It would have been great fresh, but I crisped it in the olive oil before I started the sauce.  The Caberneti pasta is a little denser than your average noodle and has a great chew to it.  The silkiness of the toasted garlic and chili infused olive oil coat the pasta along with the warm egg yolk. Imagine a twirl of black pasta and a poke of crunchy bacon with egg yolk and olive oil dripping down your chin … are you drooling? I made this for my family for dinner and they asked me why I wasn’t eating, (thinking it might be a bad test recipe) and so I had to confess that I had eaten 2 full servings at  lunch while I was photographing.

Caberneti Spaghetti Nests

Serves 6

12 oz Caberneti Spaghetti Pasta (available online)

1 Tablespoon kosher salt


1 cup basil leaves-cleaned and dried

1/2 cup of  Star California extra virgin olive oil

6 large cloves of fresh garlic- peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 pinches of salt

fresh ground pepper

6 eggs  Davidson’s Safest Choice 


1/4 pound bacon- thinly sliced and rendered crispy.


  • Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil and add in 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt.
  • Add in pasta and cook for 6 minutes or until just under aldente- drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile,  pour olive oil into a large saute pan and place basil into the cold oil and submerge.
  • Turn the heat up to medium  – as the oil begins to heat up the basil will start to bubble and spit.
  • Once the basil begins to fry- continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the leaves become glossy and translucent.
  • Remove the basil from the saute pan and place gently onto a paper towel to lightly drain off excess oil, sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Cool the oil in the saute pan down to where there are just tiny bubbles at the bottom- no smoking oil.
  • Add the garlic into the olive oil in the saute pan and lower the heat so that garlic is gently sizzling- swirl your pan to avoid burning.
  • Once garlic begins to turn light golden brown around the edges,  add in red pepper, cooked bacon and drained pasta.
  • Add in 2 pinches of salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  • Stir to coat and lower heat- cooking for another 3 minutes or until the pasta is cooked aldente- turn off the  heat.
  • Fry the eggs  in a splash of olive oil.
  • To plate,  use tongs and with a twist of the wrist create  a nest shape in the middle of each plate- with a fork or spoon create an indentation for the eggs to sit in the middle.
  • Serve warm with fried basil garnish.


2 comments… add one
  • Julia November 3, 2011, 7:18 pm

    This reminds me, I still have some cabernet pasta I need to use. This looks DELICIOUS!!!!

  • Lynne @ CookandBeMer November 7, 2011, 6:50 am

    This looks so delicious, with the subtle colors of each ingredient. I, too, have been adding fried eggs to my dishes lately. They’re so autumn. Beautiful photos.

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