Aglio e olio
Aglio e Olio, which translates to “garlic and oil” in Italian, is a classic pasta dish that hails from the region of Naples. Known for its simplicity and bold flavors, this recipe has become a favorite among pasta enthusiasts around the world. With just a handful of ingredients, Aglio e Olio showcases the essence of Italian cuisine – where the quality of ingredients takes center stage.
- 400g spaghetti
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Boil the Pasta: Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about a cup of pasta cooking water before draining.
- Sauté Garlic: While the pasta is cooking, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté the garlic until it becomes golden brown and fragrant. Be cautious not to burn the garlic, as it can turn bitter.
- Infuse Flavors: As the garlic infuses the oil with its rich flavor, add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust the red pepper flakes according to your spice preference. The combination of these simple ingredients creates a flavorful base for the pasta.
- Combine Pasta and Sauce: Once the spaghetti is cooked, transfer it directly from the pot to the skillet with the garlic and oil. Toss the pasta gently, ensuring that it is well-coated with the flavorful sauce. If the mixture seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water gradually until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Garnish and Serve: Finish the dish with a generous sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley for a burst of freshness. Optionally, you can add a handful of grated Parmesan cheese for added richness. Toss once more to combine, allowing the cheese to melt slightly.
- Serve Immediately: Aglio e Olio is best enjoyed immediately while the pasta is hot and the flavors are vibrant. Serve in individual plates or a large serving dish, making sure to distribute the garlic and oil evenly.
Aglio e Olio stands as a testament to the beauty of simplicity in Italian cuisine. With just a few quality ingredients, this dish manages to capture the essence of Mediterranean flavors. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a dish to impress guests, Aglio e Olio is sure to become a go-to recipe in your culinary repertoire. Buon appetito!