Spaghetti “Aglio e Olio” with a twist

By Danilo Cortellini, MasterChef: The Professionals finalist 2015

Serves 4

  • 320g spaghetti
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 red hot chili
  • 2 slices of stale bread
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Oil,salt q.s.

For celery puree

  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 golden onion
  • Oil, salt, pepper

For parsley pesto

  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 10g pine nuts toasted
  • 60g Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • Salt, pepper, EVO q.s.


  • For the parsley pesto wash and pick the parsley leaves and dry them well (about 60-70 gr leaves).
  • To make it you can use a glass jar blender or a hand blender .
  • Put into the glass jar the parsley, pine nuts, a handful of Parmesan cheese to taste, a pinch of salt and pour the oil filling up half of the glass.
  • Put the glass jar in the freezer for 10 minutes (the cold keeps the colors bright). Whiz at highest speed.
  • For the celery puree chop finely the onion and cook on low heat until is soften.
  • Add the celery finely chopped and add ladleful of water.
  • Cook for few minutes ,blend it and sieve it until smooth.
  • Break the bread grossly and toasted in a saucepan with some oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • When it's golden take out the garlic and add the zest of half lemon.
  • Set aside to drain on plenty of kitchen paper.
  • Put plenty of water in a saucepan, add the salt, bring to the boil and throw in the pasta.
  • Stir, then cook until “al dente”.
  • Now start the sauce by heating the olive oil gently in a frying pan.
  • Add the garlic and chili and fry for a few seconds. Take care not to burn the garlic.
  • The pasta will be ready and al dente in those few minutes.
  • Drain it well and put in the pan with the `sauce', adding 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
  • Scatter over some Parmesan cheese and add a drizzle of oil.
  • Toss the spaghetti very well until  they are creamy.
  • Spread the celery puree on the bottom of the plate.
  • The puree should be very hot, top with pasta nests and in the middle, add a tablespoon of parsley pesto and sprinkle the bread crumbs.

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