Drawing Challenge for 2014

Time is fast running out for 2014 so I've decided to set myself a small drawing challenge to finish the year on :-) 

I'm planning to do an illustration for each letter of the alphabet every day of an ingredient commonly used in Italian cooking. I love drawing hand-lettering, so doing this challenge will give me a chance to practice it. My husband is Italian, so, in a small way, it will also help me to improve my vocabulary (which is extremely basic!), as well as challenge me creatively. I'll also include a favourite recipe using that ingredient.

The first is A for Aglio (Garlic).


Recipe for Aglio e Oglio (Garlic and Oil)

This recipe is one of my all time favourite Italian dishes, it is so simple and delicious! It is perfect if you need to prepare dinner in a hurry and only have a few ingredients. It includes ingredients we always have in the pantry so it is perfect for all those times we can't decide what to have for dinner!


500g dried spaghetti
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed
4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
Salt (to taste)
Grated parmesan (or pecorino)
Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve


1. Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions until al dente. (We like our pasta quite al dente so we usually drain pasta a few minutes before the packet directions say). Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, oregano, salt and chilli, if using. Cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir through anchovies, if using. Add pasta and season with salt. Cook, tossing, for 1 minute or until combined. Serve sprinkled with parmesan and parsley.

Tips: Salt the pasta water generously. Drain the pasta only lightly, so that there is a little water left on it – this will help to ensure the pasta is kept moist and doesn't stick together.

Serves 4