Aglio E Olio; Pasta with Garlic & Olive Oil
This is a classic Italian dish that is simple beyond description yet delicious and filling as well. There are a few specific tips that make this dish a success;
- You must use fresh garlic cloves and chop and slice them freshly. Using pre-chopped, jarred garlic cloves add a flavor you don’t want
- This dish only works with long thin pastas like spaghetti and angel hair.
- The pasta must be cooked perfectly; this is such a simple dish that the pasta is the star
- I prefer ¼ cup olive oil for every 8 ounces of pasta, which produces pasta that is equally covered in oil but not swimming in it; if you want more oil I suggest 1/3 cup but no more.
- 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes for every 8 ounces of pasta produces spice that should be acceptable to all pallets. If you like spicy foods, double it (that’s what I do).
I use a general rule of 4 ounces per serving, so this should serve 2.
8 ounces spaghetti
¼ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 cloves garlic; 5 sliced lengthwise, 5 chopped finely
Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated (I prefer Romano)
1. Boil water in a large pot for pasta, add salt and a dash of olive oil and add pasta when water is ready
2. In a large pan, place olive oil over medium heat and add half of the garlic. Stir constantly 45 seconds then add remainder of garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring regularly. Reduce heat to low and be sure to not overcook the garlic (some browning is ok, but not much. If it seems to be cooking too much or too fast, remove from heat completely).
3. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to pan and toss to coat.
4. Serve, topping with the amount of cheese appropriate to tastes.