As self-proclaimed pasta fanatics, we’re firm believers that the best way to enjoy noodles is through easy-to-prepare recipes made with simple ingredients. There’s a time and a place for slow-simmered sauces (try saying that five times fast), but for day-to-day meals, we prefer to stick with options that are a bit more straightforward. Cue aglio e olio, a traditional Neapolitan dish made with spaghetti, olive oil, and plenty of fresh garlic. Here’s our go-to recipe.
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Use a ladle to reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes golden and fragrant. Be careful not to burn it.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and transfer it to the skillet with the garlic and oil.
- Toss the pasta in the garlic-infused oil, ensuring each strand is well coated.
- Season the pasta with salt and black pepper to taste. If you want more heat, you can also add extra red pepper flakes.
- Gradually add the reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet, a few tablespoons at a time, until you achieve a silky and slightly saucy consistency.
- Continue tossing the pasta in the skillet for 1 minute to allow the flavors to meld.
- Remove the skillet from heat and toss in chopped fresh parsley. Mix well.
- Plate immediately, and enjoy as is or with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.