This is one for the garlic lovers and one that must be shared by lovers. So simple like so many Italian recipes but oh so delicious. Just a few ingredients but it packs such a punch in flavour, hot with garlic, tart, sweet and tangy with tomato and added umami from the parmigiano, beautiful in its simplicity.
Aglione (pronounced all-ee-oh-nee) is actually a special type of garlic that comes from an area in Tuscany called Valdichiana. Aglio is Italian for garlic and it is normal in Italian that when something is bigger they tag a ‘one’ onto the end of it, example, ‘pancia’ is Italian for belly, ‘pancione’ is a fat belly!
So, aglione is much larger than normal garlic, a bulb can weigh as much as 500g. This is where this sauce got its name but to be honest, I have never cooked it with this special garlic, I have only seen it once in a shop here in Umbria and it was very expensive if I remember correctly it was around €8 per bulb!
Luckily, normal garlic works just as well for me, the amount of garlic you add it really down to your own taste but I would suggest you need at least 5-6 good size cloves of garlic per 400g tin of tomatoes, in the recipe, I have used 8 and it was perfect for our taste.
“Shallots are for babies; Onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.”Anon.
- 4 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tin Plum tomatoes Best quality you can afford
- 8 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 pinch Chilli flakes optional
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ glass White wine
1 amount of Pici Pasta, see notes below
- Add the olive oil into a saucepan and gently heat to medium then add the chopped garlic
- Gently fry the garlic, be very careful not to burn the garlic, you don't want to brown it, just let it sizzle in the oil for about 30 seconds without colouring
- Add the white wine and let it evaporate then with a fork mash about half the garlic into a pump
- Chop the tomatoes, I usually just do this in the can with a sharp knife, then add to the saucepan and season with salt
- Fill the can about halfway with water and rinse around then add to the sauce
- Cook the sauce on a medium heat stirring occasionally for around 20-30 mins
- Once cooked you can cool and it will keep well in the fridge for a few days and also freezes perfectly.
- Cook pici pasta as per instructions in the recipe and add to sauce and serve with a grating of Parmigiano and a nice glass or two of a big Tuscan red, like a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano