Travel Inspirations: Bali meets Italy

I travel to eat. Amongst other things of course, but giving my palette a local experience definitely ranks highly for me.

This is the first of many dishes I’ll highlight as being inspired by my travels.  This pasta dish is inspired by my visit to Seminyak – the expatriate region of Bali, Indonesia.  We had a chance to sample local Indonesian cuisine on a daily basis, but Ultimo Restaurant (yea, Ultimo – how great a name is that?) was highly recommended as a place for a fancy Italian meal.Spaghettini with anchovies and garlic

As part of a 3 course set menu, the starter was a very simple, spicy, garlicky spaghetti that just blew me away.  At that time, I couldn’t quite figure out what was in it.  My taste buds told me there were anchovies and garlic (see recipe and pic).  When I googled it today, I found out that the dish is called “Aglio e Olio” – very simply, italian for Garlic & Oil.  It’s usually souped up with chilli peppers, a little ripened tomato and freshly grated Parmesan.  According to Wikipedia, the simplicity of this dish stems from its origins as rustic cooking from the Abruzzo region – where locals improvised with whatever minimalist ingredients they had available.

The next time you’re tired of the same ol’ jar of Ragu, trust me – this will knock your socks off.  Try my version with anchovies or check out the numerous recipes online for Aglio e Olio.

My version of this recipe –

Ingredients (serves 2):
Spaghettini
A can of anchovies
Seafood of your choice (I bought some snapper and prawns)
Lemon zest
3 cloves of chopped garlic
Butter and olive oil
Chilli flakes

Simple steps:
1. Boil spaghettini
2. Heat a separate pan, add oil and butter
3. Add garlic, chilli flakes and anchovies (don’t worry – the anchovies will dissolve and just leave amazing flavours)
4. Add your seafood and let it cook through
5. Combine the cooked spaghettini with the sauce
6. Finish with lemon zest and season to taste

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