Italians know how to make simple ingredients taste insanely good. This traditional dish from Naples means spaghetti with garlic and oil. The garlic is a star of this dish so make sure to follow directions to ensure you don’t over cook it. Also, if you can, buy pasta from the area of Naples known as Gragnano. The package will specifically say Gragnano. This city is known for having the best dry pasta in the world. It is dried slowly at a low temperature therefore making the taste nuttier and the texture more chewy than regular pasta. It makes a difference in this pasta dish.. Be sure to follow exact cooking time on the package because the pasta tends to take a few minutes longer because off the noodle width. This is a must try for every reader! Thanks Mom and Dad for introducing me to this wonderful dish….I only wish I could have visited the city with you. Maybe next time.
Spaghetti aglio e olio
1 pound dried spaghetti, recommended from the Gragnano area of Italy
1/3 cup olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 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 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 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 a 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 overcook 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, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a 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.
From Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That? Cookbook