February 3, 2015

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

The grocery stores in NYC are the bane of my existence. It's one of the things about living in NYC that I hate. They're tiny, everything is overpriced, there is one cashier open and the line is 20 people deep, and you're stuck behind an old lady complaining about chicken being $4. Inevitably, I come home angry and missing half of the things I set out to purchase. Seeing as how that is the state of affairs, often times my boyfriend and I find ourselves with the bare minimum in our refrigerator. So what do you do when the last thing you'd rather brave is the grocery store checkout line? Stick to one of Ina's old standby recipes or, according to my Mom, my Nonny's recipe "because she's older."
Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

Total Time: 35 min
Yield: 4 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Cherry tomatoes, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don't overcook it! (Here is where I added the tomatoes). Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.
  3. Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.


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