Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

If you're reading the title, most of you are like, aglio e olio what?!?! Don't be deterred by the fancy name, it's pretty much a simple rustic Italian dish. Quite easy, but timing is crucial! So make sure you have everything ready!

Recipe is from, an online cooking school that offers a free tutorial video everyday. So I highly recommend checking it out!


2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 package spaghetti pasta
1/2 cup cooking water from pasta
4 fresh basil leaves
parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat your oven to your lowest setting. You won't actually be cooking any food in there, but instead warming up your plates. Pasta gets cold very quickly, so if you ever wondered why you always get a "hot plate" at most restaurants, it's to prevent food from getting cold before you can eat it! Cool huh?

Anyway, heat up a pot of COLD water and bring to a boil for the pasta. While you're waiting for that, slice the garlic up thinly and get your red pepper flakes ready.

In a large pan, add half of the olive oil, the garlic, and the pepper flakes. Do not turn the heat on just yet. Just let the ingredients mingle with eachother.

When pasta water is at a boil, add salt and stir. Add the spaghetti to the water and stir until you make sure the pasta will not stick.

While the pasta is cooking, turn the garlic on to medium heat. Spread it out enough so that it evenly cooks, but not too far apart, as it will burn easily. As soon as you hear the garlic sizzling, remove it from the heat and let sit while the pasta continues to cook.

Place your plates in the oven to get warm. I put mine right on the rack and they were fine. Just be careful when taking them out because they will be quite hot.

When your pasta reaches al dente, drain the pasta and remember to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water! Once the pasta is drained, add it into the pan with the garlic.

Turn the heat back on to medium and add in cooking water. Toss to coat pasta and stir until pasta water is entirely evaporated. Add salt to taste and tear some fresh basil leaves on top and toss to coat.

Turn off the heat and then add remaining olive oil and add as much parmesan cheese as you would like. I added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

Serve pasta on warm plates and top with additional parmesan or basil leaves! Enjoy!


  1. I love simple food that uses real, fresh ingredients. A classic!

  2. yes! and it tasted so delicious! most people would stray away because it didn't look complicated or was "too simple" but that's the exact reason I loved it!



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