I recently needed a quick last minute addition to a luncheon menu. This was my go-to dish.
Thought to have originally developed in Abruzzo, Spaghetti (or Pasta) Aglio e Olio is a delicious and deliciously simple dish that is popular all over Italy – and beyond. Consisting of pasta dressed in a light “sauce” of olive oil and garlic, Aglio e Olio (AH-lee-oh OH-lee-oh) is often found on Italian restaurant menus in America, too.
SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO
(Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil)
1 lb spaghetti6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to serve (optional)
Reserved pasta water, as needed
Drop spaghetti into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook according to package directions.
In a large frying pan heat the oil and gently sauté the garlic until it is barely golden. Do not let it brown or it will taste bitter. Season with salt and pepper. Add red pepper flakes, if desired. Remove from heat until pasta is ready.
Drain pasta when it is barely al dente, reserving about a cup of the pasta cooking water. Tip the spaghetti into the pan with the oil and garlic, and cook together for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring well to coat with the sauce. Add reserved pasta water as needed to further develop the sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve at once in a warmed serving bowl, topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.