Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

My nana often made this meal for lunch with homemade garlic bread, salad (with oil and vinegar dressing and parmesan cheese) and iced tea with lemon.  It was such a treat for me and it still remains one of my favorite meals.

The photo and the following recipe comes from Ina Garten, but I make mine a different way . . . I think much easier!

My version starts off by getting my pasta water boiling (with lots of salt) and get the pasta cooking.

At the same time, I heat up a pan and melt about 1/2 stick of butter.  Add about 2 garlic cloves, making sure the garlic does not brown.

Angel hair pasta is what I prefer and the best thing is that it is ready in three minutes, so I have to work fast to put this all together.

As the garlic is sauteeing in the butter, I start adding pasta water little by little.  (You'll need to experiment with how much pasta water you add.)  I love the way the pasta water slightly thickens the butter and also brings lots of flavor!  Right before the pasta is done, I throw in a handful of parsley.

Add drained pasta to the mixture, along with about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Mix together!  I always make sure that I have enough mixture to add to the pasta so that the pasta doesn't stick together.  I hate when that happens! Reserve some of the pasta water when draining in case you need more.

A note about my recipe . . . I prefer butter over olive oil because I really don't like the taste of olive oil.  You can use olive oil or a combination of both.  Whatever you prefer!  

All in all, I've got this recipe down to just five minutes from start to finish.  I've had lots of practice making it since I was a little girl!

The Food Network
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, All Rights Reserved
SHOW: Barefoot Contessa


    • Kosher salt
    • 1 pound dried spaghetti, such as DeCecco
    • 1/3 cup good 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.

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