Pasta Aglio E Olio literally translates to Pasta with Garlic and Oil. It is the Italian version of the type of food north Americans would choose to eat after a night out on the town. Hangover food, midnight snacking food etc. But it is also much more than that. It is simplicity in cooking at its best. If I had to choose a food to use as a recipe template that stood for all others, this would be it! Fresh ingredients, flavourful and simply prepared. The ingredients speak for themselves, the dish is put together in minutes and it is overall very flavourful.
Pasta Aglio E Olio
Pasta with Garlic and Oil is, Fast Fresh and Flavourful. The ideal late-night snack food.
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
1 Cup of the water you cooked the pasta in, set aside
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
The Fun Parts
Cook the pasta as per the directions on the package. Aim for al Dente. Set aside and hold.
In a saute pan, large enough to hold all of the ingredients and over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then add the garlic slivers.
Stir constantly until the garlic is just beginning to turn a nice golden brown around the edges. This will infuse the oil with garlic flavour and soften the slivers so you are not eating raw garlic. Overcooking the garlic will cause the garlic to taste burnt and bitter.
Add the red pepper flakes and stir to mix well.
Next add the reserved pasta cooking water, and simmer until the water is reduced by about 1/2. Taste and season with salt as necessary.
Add the cooked pasta and toss well to coat and flavour all of the pasta noodles.
Remove the pan from the heat source and add in the chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, and the parmesan cheese. Stir to mix well.
Allow the assembled pasta ingredients to sit in the pan for a few minutes off of the heat so it will absorb all of the flavours.
Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with extra parmesan on the side, or garnished on top of the pasta.