Garlic Pâté- Pasta de Alho

The Food of Portugal- Jean Anderson The Pousada de Sao Filipe, a delightful government inn located in a sixteenth-century cliff's edge castle overlooking the port of Setubal and the Atlantic Ocean, used to have a wonderful country cook who was well into her seventies. It was she who whipped up this ingenious pate, which was brought to your table in a little terra-cotta crock the instant you sat down. It's foundation was a translucent local chees unavailable here, so I've taken the liberty of substituting ripe Brie.

Garlic Pâté- Pasta de Alho

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 2

    large buds( entire heads) of garlic(4 to 5 ounces in all)

  • 1

    pound cold ripe Brie, trimmed of white rind, then cut into 1-inch cubes

  • ½

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 1

    tablespoon hot water


Preheat the oven to slow(300 F.) Bundle the whole, unpeeled buds of garlic in a double thickness of aluminum foil, then twist each loose end into a gooseneck, sealing in the garlic. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour; remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Place the Brie in the top of a double boiler, set over hot water, and let soften 8 to 10 minutes( do not allow the water to boil or the cheese may string and separate). Meanwhile, peel the garlic, clove by clove, and drop into an electric blender cup or a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade; add the pepper, olive oil, and water and buzz 30 seconds nonstop to purée. Scrape down the sides of the blender cup or work bowl and buzz 30 seconds longer. Now add the softened cheese and incorporate, using 8 to 10 quick on-offs of the motor. Transfer to a small bowl and, if the mixture seems slightly lumpy, whisk hard by hand( further machine-beating at this point may make the pate rubbery). Store airtight in the refrigerator and serve with Pao Torrado. Note: Let the pate come to room temperature before serving.


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