Tasty Tangents

Food, life and other morsels

Spaghetti aglio e olio

I have to express my apologies for my absence from the blog lately. I’ve been in a state of flux, which has finally concluded with the purchase of our first home! It’s been months in the making, but with keys in hand, Saturday was moving day. I can’t thank my moving team enough, family and friends were the absolute best, and I hope to repay them with many home-cooked meals in my new kitchen.

After an exhausting and sweltering day, we were only energetic enough to pick up a few pizzas and beer, so on Sunday, our first night at home alone together, I thought something traditional was called for. Luckily, my mom (my kitchen inspiration) was thinking ahead, and left me with fresh garlic, olive oil and pasta, the main ingredients for spaghetti aglio e olio. After a big grocery trip we had another key ingredient, crushed chili pepper. It’s the simplest recipe ever, and this one serves about 4 people.

Here’s what you do:

Boil one package (500g) of pasta as per the package directions in plenty of salted water. Meanwhile in a small pot, sautee a few crushed cloves of garlic and about 1/2 tsp of crushed chili pepper (or to taste) in a little less than 1/4 cup of olive oil. When the garlic is golden, remove the pot from the heat and VERY CAREFULLY add 2-3 ladles of water from the pasta pot. Drain the remainder of the pasta, reserving a bit of liquid, just in case. Then combine the olive oil and pasta and toss to coat. That’s it.

For extra kick, a couple of crushed anchovies or some anchovy paste (about 1 tsp) are a great addition to the oil and garlic sauce. Also, tossing a handful of breadcrumbs on top of the pasta at the very end gives a great texture and helps the sauce to stick, as this dish is ALWAYS served without cheese. I think our first home cooked meal was a hit, and I hope it will set the stage for many more simple, but hearty and healthy dinners.

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