Pasta al Pomodoro with Black Gold

This is a tomato pasta dish usually prepared with pasta, olive oil, fresh tomatoes, basil and any other seasonings you might add, such as Parmesan Cheese.  The one special ingredient in this recipe is black garlic, or as I like to call it, “black gold”.  This is the first time I have used this amazing ingredient which can be bought in whole cloves, or conveniently peeled for you. So far, I have only found it online but hope to find a local source.  What a contrast the black garlic has with its off-white counterpart.

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So, what is black garlic?  It is caramelized by heating whole bulbs of regular garlic (but only the best) over a period of several weeks which eventually results in black cloves.  The taste is sweet and syrupy with hints of balsamic vinegar or tamarind.  The process is sometimes referred to as fermentation but it does not in fact involve microbial action.  It is a food rich in antioxidants, boosts immune function, improves blood pressure , toxic to 14  kinds of cancer cells and reduces inflammation plus many other beneficial and positive effects.

Another great thing about this garlic is that it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 years (that’s what the package said)! Have you ever had your “white garlic” last that long?  It is also very soft and you can squish it between your fingers emitting that wonderful aroma of slow roasting.

Black garlic SAC (mg/g) 5.85; calcium (mg) 36.66; phosphorus (mg) 80; protein (g) 12.5

Raw garlic    SAC (mg/g) 0.32; calcium (mg) 5.0;      phosphorus (mg) 40; protein (g)   2.2

I grow garlic in my small garden every Fall and then come  summer I can start to harvest it.  Usually, it overwinters pretty good – go here for my post. I thought maybe I could grow it myself, but unfortunately this is not something the home gardener can grow easily.

I knew I had to find out more after reading Elaine’s post on Black Garlic Harissa.    She has posted other recipes using black garlic that sound delicious as well!   Food blogs are full of information and not just recipes to try.  I seem to learn something new almost every day.

First, I had to order some of this as I was not sure I could find any locally.  I ordered both the peeled and the whole cloves just to see what they looked like. Then I decided to start with a simple recipe and what better way than with a pasta dish with tomato sauce.  I have used it twice now with tomato sauces, I mean there is always garlic in these sauces, right? The red sauce does become a little darker using black garlic, but who cares as the flavor is delicious!

The following recipe comes from Black Garlic North America which is a business division of Wisconsin Fermentation Company LLC and recently founded in 2012.  I have adapted the recipe slightly; using less oil, different tomatoes, adding a little sugar and my preference for pasta.  So easy to make a recipe your own.

Pasta al Pomodoro with Black Gold

  • 1-1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 black garlic cloves, chopped
  • 796 mL (48 oz.) canned plum tomatoes (I used San Marzano crushed tomatoes)
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar or a little honey (I added to cut the acidity)
  • 450g (1 lb.) spaghetti (I used Muller’s Hidden Veggie (carrot, sweet corn and squash blend) thin spaghetti
  • 1 cup fresh basil, minced
  • fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Chop up the garlic – you will find it rather sticky but do the best you can.  Heat a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high.  Add the oil and garlic; cook, stirring frequently while breaking up the garlic more,  for about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and sugar while breaking up the tomatoes.  You can use any kind of tomatoes, from fresh to canned whole, or even crushed.  The latter is what I used.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, cook your pasta until done to your taste; drain.  I like to save some of the pasta water just in case I need to make a sauce thinner.  Add to the tomato sauce and stir to coat.  Remove from the heat and let stand until pasta absorbs the sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.  Sprinkle with basil and parmesan just before serving.

This pasta dish is so delicious and the “black gold”  gives it that extra special touch.   If your recipe is lacking in flavor add a couple cloves of minced black garlic to kick it up a notch.

Recipe by   

I am bringing this tasty pasta dish to Fiesta Friday #63 to share with all of those fellow bloggers who might have missed Elaine’s first post using black garlic.  Everyone should try this magical ingredient that adds such depth to a recipe 🙂  Thanks to Angie,  Hilda and Julianna for hosting Fiesta Friday #63.

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35 thoughts on “Pasta al Pomodoro with Black Gold

  1. This is very timely for me. I just bought some black garlic while I was in Spain and was wondering what to make with it. Your idea of using it in this wonderful pasta dish is a good place to start. We also grow our own garlic and I have been researching how to make it. I found one method in a slow cooker lined with aluminum, another in a dehydrator. The thing is it takes several weeks at 145 F and I figured the amount of electricity required would make it more expensive than buying it. However, I never say never.


    • Black garlic and pasta are a great combination. I find myself thinking about this garlic every time I make something with garlic in it. I researched (I am a librarian afterall) making it myself and at this point in my life, I will buy it 🙂


  2. I’m glad to see you’ve given these black garlic a try, Juju! Since I’ve been wondering myself what they taste like. I trust Elaine with my life, of course, but now that you’ve also recommended them, I really have to try them! 😃


  3. Your pasta looks really tasty Judi. I had the chance to receive a few weeks ago some spices from our lovely Elaine; she sent me this famous black garlic 🙂 I agree with you, the taste of this garlic is just magic. I made my black garlic with tagliatelle, basil and fresh cream. Have a great weekend!


  4. Black garlic, wow! and look what you’ve presented with it’s flavor. How creative Judi. It looks like the garlic would have added it’s own distinct flavor to the pasta. I must look around for some, I’m not sure I’ve come across it, but then I haven’t looked hard enough. Great job as usual! 🙂


    • Thanks Loretta 🙂 There is a slight but pleasant difference in not only taste but the color of the sauce. Hard to describe – you will just have to try it! If I cannot find an ingredient locally I always shop online.


  5. Oh wow, Judi! This just sounds so awesome! Now I am really getting intrigued as you too have jumped on the black garlic bandwagon! I have been reading Elaine’s posts about black garlic and it just sounds so delicious! Now you tell us that it is super delicious too! I have got to find some around here. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely, informative post! Happy FF to you! 😀


    • Thanks Julianna! Black garlic or “black gold” is an ingredient all of us “foodies” should have in our kitchens. Do give it a try – I bought mine online and you do get quite a supply. Happy FF to you 🙂


  6. So interesting Judi. Elaine had me i trigued but I didn’t think we could get black garlic here. What increases the calcium content? The sauce looks amazing. I could almost smell all that garlic!


    • Oh sure Johanne, just “google” black garlic and you will find some sources. I have not looked locally yet but I will try specialty and maybe Asian grocery stores. A sister made it without the black garlic because it was so simple and loved it. The stats are amazing compared to raw garlic – no idea about any of them 🙂


    • I went nuts when I first read Elaine’s post (I even gave her a big write-up to be featured on FF and she was!) I love trying new recipes with different ingredients. Garlic is a favorite – hope you get some of this “black gold”. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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