This right here is one of my favourite pastas of all time!!! I love the simplicity of aglio e olio, where the lovely flavors of garlic and olive oil are the main focus (plus a bit of spice from the chili flakes). You literally only need a few ingredients and only 10 minutes to whip this up. A few things to remember though: to make this dish above average, you really need great quality olive oil and good pasta. Don’t cheap out here!!
Word of advice: ditch the parmesan and just made gremolata (breadcrumbs) for that extra crunch/texture – YUMMMM!!!
Aglio E Olio
1 pound (450g) dried spaghetti
1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Minced flat-leaf parsley, for serving (optional)
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti until just shy of al dente (about 1 minute less than the package directs). Reserve pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine 6 tablespoons oil and garlic. Add pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Cook over medium heat until garlic is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.)
Transfer pasta to skillet along with 1/2 cup pasta water, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until a creamy, emulsified sauce forms and coats the noodles. Remove from heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and stir well to combine. Mix in parsley, if using, and serve right away.