I cannot think of anything easier than a spaghetti with garlic and olive oil for dinner. Seriously, Aglio Olio is one of my favorite pasta dishes ever. Super favorite if I must emphasize. Aglio Olio is also called Midnight Spaghetti because the chefs make it for a quick meal at midnight when they get home from work.
My first exposure to Aglio E Olio was few years ago at Pasta de Waraku in Singapore and I have since declared that I fall in love with Aglio Olio. I love it so much because of the amount of garlic in it. I know not everyone is into garlic, but when you cook it in the oil, it gets sweeter. Now, I think I mentioned before that I don’t think I can survive on a long-term vegetarian diet. I love eggs, meat and seafood, however, for my Aglio Olio though, I don’t want any of those, I like it plain. Simplicity at its very best is how I describe it.
I’ve tried to made it several times, but it never turned out the way I remember it, until I saw Ina Garten made it in her Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? cookbook.
I can tell you, this recipe is a keeper for as long as I live now. Thank you Ina. I’ve been craving for Aglio Olio and so delighted that I can make it anytime I want now.
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb dried spaghetti
- ⅓ cup good olive oil
- 8 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp of Kosher salt (use half of the amount if you use regular salt) and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package if you like or “undercook” it if you like your pasta to be firm-to-bite (al dente). Set aside 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as 12-inch saute pan or a large shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges- don’t BURN IT!
- Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about one third
- Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side
You can also make your spaghetti Aglio E Olio with some protein, in my case, I used fish that I seasoned with a little salt and pepper, dredged in flour and then pan-fried to get that crispiness. I also included some roasted broccoli & cauliflower (whatever I had left in the fridge) It was one of those days that I wanted something quick yet comforting. Hubby absolutely loves this dish !!