Four Heads are Better than One


40 cloves of slow cooked garlic is one of the best ways to make spaghetti feel grown up. Well, that and a shot of truffle oil. This hearty recipe is simple to make, but don’t tell Clemenza that.

This is a great movie night pasta. Invite a few friends to come around with a “killer” bottle of their favourite Italian to share. “They will be honoured and grateful that you have invited them to your home.” Movie Night suggestion: The Godfather.

Four Heads are Better than One
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6 plus 4 cups of sauce
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Two 26-oz. boxes of diced tomatoes (I like Pomi brand) with juice
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ¼ cup torn basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
  1. In a saucepan, bring the mushrooms and 4 cups of water to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broth is reduced to 1 cup, about 40 minutes. Strain and discard the mushrooms.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the garlic and olive oil to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the garlic cloves are very tender and golden, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a Dutch oven, bring the tomatoes, garlic and oil to a boil. Add the mushroom broth. Transfer to a blender and puree until the sauce is smooth. Bring the sauce back to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until thickened, about an hour. Stir in the truffle oil. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the spaghetti according to directions in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and return to the pot. Add 2 cups of the sauce and cook, tossing, for 1 minute. Transfer to bowls and top with the basil and grated cheese.
Serve with a respected Italian. Select a bold varietal that will stand up to all the sassy garlic. The bigger the better. I served this batch with a Sicilian Primitivo. Cin-cin!

golden garlic in oil

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