Aglio olio is an all time favourite for those days when we need something quick to cook or have almost nothing left in the fridge. It’s a very simple dish to prepare that goes well on weekends, when we get busy cleaning and fixing things around the house, or weekday dinners in front of the tv. Here is my recipe for aglio olio.
- Garlic – lots!!! Crushed and sliced thinly or minced. I’ve seen some use crushed whole garlic cloves and others roasting the cloves first
- Red chillies – depends how hot you want it. You can also use red chilli flakes. If neither of these are available you can use chilli powder – sprinkled on top to add a visual appeal
- Parsley – about a handful, thinly sliced or minced
- Olive oil – about half a cup if you are serving for two
- Salt – about half a teaspoon then adjust to desired taste
- Linguine or spaghetti – I prefer oil-based pasta sauces with long pastas
- Pasta water – don’t chuck all that water you used to boil the pasta in, it adds character to the sauce!
- Boil a pot of water, ideally using a pasta pot or a stock pot. Fill it with water to about 3/4 of the pot.
- When the water starts to bubble put about half a tablespoon of salt. Then when the water starts to boil put the pasta in. It is sacrilegious to break the spaghetti or linguine…don’t even dare! It will approximately take less than 10 minutes to get that perfect al dente pasta consistency.
- About halfway through cooking the pasta, you can start cooking the sauce. In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Put the garlic in til it turns light brown. Careful not to burn the garlic, it will have a bitter after taste.
- Put the chilli, parsley and salt. Reduce the heat to low setting.
- By this time, your pasta should be al dente or just cooked. Drain using a colander, saving about half a cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta in the pan and stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Put about 2 tablespoons of pasta water. Adjust the taste by adding more salt then turn off the stove.
- I put a dash of lime or lemon to infuse a bit to freshness but this is optional.
- Serve using a pasta bowl. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Best enjoyed with slices of crusty bread. Enjoy!