(This Spaghetti and Garlic Oil recipe can be found in the cookbook Casual Cooking by Michael Chiarello.)
Step by Step Instructions:
Spaghetti and Garlic Oil will knock your socks off. Here’s all you’ll need: Fresh Parsley (Italian flat-leaf variety), Sea Salt (Chef Michael recommends gray salt but I went with Pink Himalayan as I couldn’t find the gray kind), really good quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (can’t stress enough how important good oil is here), really good quality dried Spaghetti (it’s worth a few more cents for a better brand), Pecorino Romano Cheese, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, and Fresh Garlic.
First thing you’ll do is grab a large pot and fill it 2/3 full with water and bring it to a boil. Then it’s time to prep all of your food, as this recipe will come together pretty quickly. You’ll finely chop your fresh parsley until you have 2 tablespoons worth.
Moving onto the garlic . . . finely slice 3 tablespoons of fresh garlic cloves. I probably used 6-8 cloves, so make sure you have plenty, and don’t skimp on the garlic. Just be sure whoever you’re spending time with that day eats it as well, so you both have garlic breath. 😉
Grate 4 tablespoons worth of Pecorino Romano cheese. One trick I love here is to pop the block of cheese in the freezer right up until you’re ready to start grating it. It makes it grate quite easily.
You’ll divide it into 2 bowls with 2 tablespoons in each bowl.
Once the water is boiling, add a healthy pinch of salt to the water and then cook the pasta according to your package directions. When the pasta has cooked for 5 minutes or so, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water for the sauce.
Then heat a large, nonstick pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of very good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Remember that there aren’t many ingredients, so using good quality oil will make a huge difference with the flavor of this Spaghetti and Garlic Oil.
Add the sliced garlic to the hot oil. You’ll sauté the garlic for several minutes until it’s tender and starts to brown. One of the chef’s tips that I followed was to tip the pan so the oil pools on one side and fry the garlic that way. This is really useful when you’re not cooking with a lot of oil.
Here is the garlic nicely browned and ready to go.
Add the 1/2 cup of pasta water you reserved (very carefully) to the pan.
Then add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, the chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Give the sauce a stir and reduce the heat to low.
With about a minute left of cooking, reserve another 1/2 cup of pasta water. This time it doesn’t need to be exact.
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it.
Once your pasta is drained, add it to the pan and toss it with the sauce stirring regularly over fairly low heat.
You’re ready to head to the next step once the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid.
Finally add 2 tablespoons of grated cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the pasta.
Toss the pasta so that it’s coated with all of the sauce, garlic, pepper flakes and cheese. If you find your pasta is a bit to dry, then you can add a little pasta water to it (that you reserved) to help keep it moist. Mine was looking great, so I didn’t end up adding any pasta water. Serve it up immediately and top with the remaining grated cheese. You’re going to LOVE how simple yet elegant and delicious this Spaghetti and Garlic Oil is! Enjoy & Happy twirling!
- ¾ lb. Spaghetti or Spaghettini
- 4 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons Garlic, finely sliced
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley, finely minced
- 4 tablespoons Pecorino Romano Cheese, freshly grated
- Begin by prepping your food in advance: finely slice the garlic, mince the flat-leaf Italian parsley, and finely grate your cheese.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then cook the pasta according to package instructions. As the pasta cooks, reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced garlic and sauté until the garlic is tender is starts to brown.
- Then add the ½ cup of pasta water, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, and chopped parsley to the garlic oil, and turn the heat to low.
- With about a minute left of cooking the spaghetti, reserve another ½ cup of pasta water. When the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta. Add the drained spaghetti to the pan with the sauce and toss until the liquid is absorbed by the pasta.
- Finally add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano cheese to the pasta and toss to combine. You can add some of the reserved pasta water to the pasta if it is too dry. Once your pasta is well coated and combined, serve immediately and top with the remaining cheese. Enjoy!