It might surprise you to know that meat and tomato sauce are not essential components of a good pasta dish. Sometimes, good quality olive oil and fresh garlic are all you need as in the case of pasta aglio e olio.
What are essential are time and patience. You need time to coax the garlic to impart its flavor into the oil. You need patience to stir the garlic in oil over low heat to make sure nothing burns.
Spaghettini Aglio e Olio
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 175 grams spaghettini (angel hair pasta) or use regular spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (doesn't have to be extra virgin)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and pounded
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- grated Pecorino to garnish
- lemon juice to garnish (optional)
- In a pot, boil about eight cups of water with the tablespoon of salt.
- Drop the spaghettini into the boiling water and cook until al dente.
- Drain the noodles.
- In a shallow pan, heat the olive oil and butter.
- Add the garlic and cook over low heat for a few minutes until aromatic (see notes after the recipe).
- Spread the pasta in the oil and toss until every strand of noodle is glistening.
- Sprinkle in the chili flakes and two tablespoons of chopped parsley.
- Toss thoroughly to distribute the greens and flakes.
- Optionally, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and toss.
- Divide the spaghettini among four plates or bowls, garnish with grated Pecorino and the remaining parsley and serve.
More Pasta Aglio e Olio
To my pasta aglio e olio with sun-dried tomatoes, I added bacon and crumbled Hungarian sausage meat. Result? A meaty pasta dish that is still light and fresh. So delicious! So …