Mmmmmm, Garlic Bread…. Who can say no to a nice thick slice of garlic bread alongside there pasta? It’s almost mandatory. Well, I suppose if you’re dieting you try and avoid the accompaniment. Can’t say I blame you. But seriously, if I don’t serve bread along side my pasta, it just throws the whole meal off. Something just doesn’t feel right.
The funny thing is that I didn’t even make this to go with a pasta that I was serving. I just had an extra loaf of homemade ciabatta lying around (more on that later) and I didn’t want it to go to waste. It pains me to throw good food out or let it go bad. So I threw together a quick garlic bread in the middle of the day for no reason whatsoever. My Husband came in to it after changing out the filter in his car and was so excited he ate a whole half… he’s a bread lover. And bread with lot’s of crunch and flavor? Forget about it. Gone.
I’m sharing it with you now because I think it would go perfect with the Turkey Meatball Pasta Bake I posted yesterday. But in reality it would go great with any pasta you serve.
I didn’t use the recommended Italian loaf. I specifically wanted to use up my ciabatta so I went that direction with it. Because my ciabatta loaf was very small, I halved the garlic-butter spread. Now you may have already looked through the recipe and saw that it requires you to dry sauté 10 unpeeled garlic cloves… not only is that a lot of garlic cloves but the whole dry sauté thing is strange, I agree. I enjoy strange though. It can bring about some of the best dishes. This particular technique was SO interesting. The garlic cloves really cooked through their peels. I put mine through a garlic press to combine with the butter and it was the simplest thing. Now if you want a sharper, spicier garlic taste, I suggest using raw garlic. The other factor in question is the cheese… I didn’t like that addition. The garlic flavor was already mellowed out by the sauté and with the sharpness of the cheese it was almost completely masked. It made some delicious bread, but it wasn’t strongly flavored of garlic. I recommend opting out of the cheese, but that’s just me. Since this recipe doesn’t call for any additional flavorings it might be fun to spice it up with some Italian seasoning : ) Your options are endless.
- 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 6 Tb butter, softened
- 2 Tb grated parmesan, grated
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 (1 lb) loaf Italian bread, halved horizontally
- pepper, optional
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 500 degrees F. Meanwhile toast garlic cloves in 8" skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and color of cloves deepens slightly, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Peel and mince cloves, about 3 Tb. Mash together garlic, butter, parmesan, and salt in bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Spread cut sides of loaf evenly with butter mixture; season with pepper if desired. Transfer loaf halves, buttered side up, onto rimmed baking sheet and bake until surface of bread is golden brown and toasted, 5 to 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Slice and serve!