Friday, December 14, 2012


I made this to go with the Italian chicken from yesterday's post.  With the olive oil, it was a nice, light side dish.

(Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil)

Serves 6

8 cups water
1 tablespoon table salt
6 ounces dried pasta, preferably Italian, such as spaghetti, capellini, angel hair
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed flat
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Hot pasta water
Red pepper flakes, optional
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley or other herbs, optional

In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add the pasta, cover and let cook until pasta is ‘al dente’ – not quite done.

Meanwhile, in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta once it’s cooked, heat the olive oil on medium low heat until shimmery. Add the garlic and let cook slowly, barely sizzling and just until golden brown. Remove the garlic and transfer the oil to a small bowl.

When the pasta is done, lift it out of the pot into a colander to drain briefly, then drop into the still-hot skillet. RESERVE the pasta water and keep hot. Stir in the kosher salt, then stir the pasta around, coating it with the oil left in the skillet. Add a tablespoon or two of the hot pasta water to keep the pasta moist until serving time. (If needed, you may pause here for up to an hour or so. Rewarm the pasta, adding more water if needed.) Just before serving, stir in a tablespoon of olive oil and the red pepper flakes. Taste and decide if you want to add more oil. Stir in the parsley and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with more garlic oil if desired.

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