How else am I supposed to describe this pasta? Just Aglio e Olio? BORING.
I know that’s technically what it is, but I don’t care. I’ve had a hard day and this was quite literally the only thing that went right. Fuck, it may be the only thing of 2020 that’s gone right.
Here’s the thing about this pasta. It’s like a “pantry pasta”, meaning you likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. The only thing I didn’t have on hand was the fresh parsley, and that part is kind of essential, but after that, all you need is the following.
Spaghetti, garlic (lots of it), chili flakes, salt, olive oil, and lemon. Oh and parmesan cheese. Duh.
I also didn’t measure anything here except for the amount of olive oil and garlic. Sorry, but I think salt is subjective, so I will estimate that I used 2 tsp, but I’m not sure because I added a bit more towards the end after tasting. Feel free to start with 1 tsp, then add more if needed. Don’t forget, you can always add, but you can’t subtract.
The chili flakes were around 2 tsp, and the parsley once chopped was probably about 1/2 cup, if that helps. I used about 1/2 box of pasta, which was plenty for 2 people.
Also, if you’re wondering if the lemon is essential – it is. The acidic squeeze right before serving is the chef’s kiss that this pasta needs. Trust me.
That Sexy Garlic & Olive Oil Pasta
- 1/2 box of spaghetti
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 7-8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp chili flakes (more if you like spicier)
- Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- Fresh lemon squeeze
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Mine was about 10 minutes. Reserve a cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and let it sizzle in the oil. Add chili flakes and salt. Stir gently, and shake the pan a bit back and forth (careful not to splash yourself). Cook the garlic like this for 2 minutes or so, but DO NOT LET IT BURN. Light brown is ok, but once garlic gets too brown or burnt, it gets bitter.
- Add the pasta right to the pan. Toss with tongs to coat the spaghetti in the silky, oil/garlic mixture.
- Turn off the heat and add the parsley, parmesan, and a bit of pasta water. Toss again with tongs to coat all the beautiful strands.
- Right before serving, give a squeeze of fresh lemon over the top. Taste for perfection, and season with more salt if needed. Then, curl up with it on the couch and enjoy. Cheers.