Spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil)
I’m not feeling too great right now. I often sneeze, sometimes my nose is stuffy and I seem to fall asleep every time I sit on the couch to watch TV. Worse, yesterday, well, there’s this house a few meters from ours, it’s in its last stages of construction and it’s being painted. The strong winds brought the sickening smell of the paint’s solvent into our house and I felt even more sick. Speedy had to cook dinner last night.
When I woke up this morning, I felt a little better but still at less than my usual hundred per cent capacity. My taste buds didn’t seem affected though. There were a dozen things that I wanted to eat — from meat rolls to pasta. And I made them all. Meat rolls for lunch; and this spaghetti aglia e olio for dinner.
What is spaghetti aglia e olio? It’s the simplest, the most inexpensive and the easiest pasta dish to prepare. The classic Italian spaghetti aglia e olio has only three basic ingredients: pasta, olive oil and garlic. Salt is added for flavor; parsley is sprinkled for color and texture. There are only two steps in the preparation of the dish: boiling the pasta the tossing it in the olive oil in which the garlic had been browned. Let not the simplicity fool you though as the flavor and aroma are just awesome!
But, wait! That’s not all. While the basic spaghetti aglia e olio is already perfect by itself, you can also treat it as a base for other variations. To the basic pasta dish, you can add cooked shrimp, mussels or clams, or even crisp bacon bits!
Recipe: Spaghetti aglia e olio
- 150 to 180 g. of spaghetti (or the usual amount you’d cook for four)
- 4 tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsps. of minced garlic
- salt, to taste
- a handful of roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
- Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water. When I say salted water, I don’t mean water with a pinch of salt added to it. I mean, really salted water — like sea water.
- Meanwhile, while the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a pan.
- Over medium heat, cook the garlic until lightly browned. Turn off the heat to prevent the garlic from browning too much.
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the garlic and oil. Toss. Add the parsley and toss again. Taste the pasta. If it needs more salt, add more salt.
- The dish is complete at this point. This is the classic spaghetti aglia e olio and you can serve it right away. It is really, really tasty.
- However, if you’re feeling carnivorous…
- You may toss some crisp bacon bits with the pasta.
- And if you feel that a pasta dish really needs cheese, top your bacon invigorated spaghetti aglio e olio with shaved cheese. Parmesan or pecorino are recommended.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 12 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4