Garlic and Sardines Pasta (comfort food)

What is it about comfort food that hits the spot in so many ways? Well, it is supposed to give you that sense of security, that warm fuzzy feeling of being right at home, no matter where you are. That’s what drives me crazy about food – good food almost always brings with it a good emotion. I like cooking food that makes me feel fuzzy all over. Yeah I know, corny, but pfftt to you, I’m on a roll.

I came home from a busy day at work and I found myself not even bothering to change into comfier clothes – I just opened my pantry, looked around and did a mental inventory of the ingredients I needed and I started prepping for my dish of the moment – Sardines Pasta. I’m partial to the Spanish style variety,  with that perfect blend of meaty fish, succulent oil plus the perfect amount of heat. The tomato sauce variety, I don’t really care for.

Like I said, it’s fairly simple, sometimes I’m even tempted to just dump it over cooked pasta and let the magic just melt in my mouth. Yeah you can that too if you’re lazy as me on a perfectly rainy day, but I like mine GARLICKY, and so I cook A LOT OF minced garlic in the sardine oil first, to impart that “Holy Mother I’m salivating” feel. Once that amazing garlic smell wafts around the kitchen, I add the sardines, with each piece roughly sliced into three smaller pieces.

I don’t know if it was Rachael Ray or Giada who introduced me to the idea of adding a little of the starchy liquid used to boil pasta into the sardines mix – but man, it works like a charm. After adding the pasta (drained of course) into the mix and letting the components get to know each other, there’s always that film of oil that coats each noodle perfectly.

Tasting it is a whole different story – well, more like an epic. There’s the perfect blend of salty meaty crumbled sardines + the oil coated pasta + the right amount of heat that just makes my knees go weak. My mom insists I add cheese to the pasta, and I can’t say I disagree with her but I like mine really aglio olio. But what the heck it tastes good just the same.

You can never really go wrong with perfectly toasted garlic. For real. That’s why I love being Filipino. We put A LOT OF garlic into pretty much anything.

I’m really not much of a food stylist. Consider this…pretty rustic, just the way comfort food should be. And consider me…rationalizing. But seriously, it is comfort food!

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