I don't know if you've noticed but I am in love with Italy.
Love. Love. Love.
I love the food, the wine, the people, the accents, the landscape, the ruins, the history...
I could go on, but instead I will share with you one of the most simple and delicious pasta recipes ever.
Aglio e Olio aka Spag Garlic (AH-lee-oh OH-lee-oh means Garlic and Oil - we call it Spag Garlic in my house. Don't tell the Italians ok?)
1 box dried spaghetti
1 bulb garlic, cloves chopped
1 Cup Olive Oil
4 big pinches dried chili flakes
2-3 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil - sample the water before heating - when it tasted like the ocean, it's perfect.
- Spaghetti takes about 11 minutes to cook - when pasta has 7 minutes left to cook, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- When pasta has 5 minutes left to cook, add chopped garlic to hot oil - gently swirl - when garlic just starts to turn golden, add chili flakes - swirl, cook 30 seconds more and remove from heat.
- Drain pasta and toss with hot oil and garlic - add 2-3 handfuls of grated Parmigiano and salt and pepper to taste - toss and serve immediately.
*Some people say if you add chopped fresh parsley to the garlic when it begins to brown, the coolness of the parsley will stop the garlic from cooking further - do this if you like - it tastes good, it looks pretty and the Italians pretty much add parsley to everything.
**Garlic should be GOLDEN at the most - once it turns more of a dull brown colour, it will be crunchy and bitter. Yuck. Don't do this.
***Add chili flakes to taste - as many or as few as you want.