How much flavour garlic gives your dish depends on how you prep it: the more cells you rupture, the more potent it gets. Full cloves are bland and even slicing doesn’t do much; crushing with a press or the flat of a knife makes things more pungent, but for ultimate intensity invest in a microplane, which finely minces your cloves for a serious flavour punch.
Slice it fine
In this recipe, you’re replacing sheets of pasta with sweet potato, and thickness is key: make them too hefty, and they’ll be too crunchy by the end of the cooking time. To make thin-slicing easier, get yourself a full-size chef’s knife and keep it sharp – five minutes on a whetstone every couple of weeks will do the trick.
Know your herbs
Chefs will tell you fresh herbs are better than dried, and they’re mostly right – but sometimes it’s fine to reach for the jar. Herbs that flourish in hot, dry climates contain flavour compounds that stay stable at high temperatures. Basil is best used fresh but with dried oregano, bay leaves, sage or rosemary you’ll notice little difference once they’re cooked.