I hope this video recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio looks better than it sounds! A fairly minor cold led to a few days of semi-laryngitis, but I just couldn't wait any longer, so I summoned up my best Phyllis Diller impersonation and went for it. Like Phyllis always said, "the show must go on!"
Spaghetti aglio e olio is about as primal a pasta dish as there is. This is easily the most popular spaghetti recipe in Italy, and if you'll pardon the probably-annoying-to-Italians analogy, the comfort food equivalent to our "mac and cheese."
This is a very simple recipe – in fact, the recipe is much easier to make than pronounce. You know a recipe name is hard to say when you can't even come up with a respectable phonetic spelling. It's something close to "ah-leoh-oh-leoh." Give it a couple tries, and if you can't do it, feel free to just call it garlic spaghetti.
Anyway, this is my version (no two spaghetti aglio e olio recipes are alike), and I think it's pretty true to the classic method. The key is slowly toasting the garlic slices to a perfect golden-brown in the olive oil. If it's too light, you don't get the full flavor, and if it's too dark, it gets bitter. My advice? Do it perfectly. Enjoy!
1 pound dry spaghetti
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/2 cup olive oil (note: I prefer a regular olive oil for this recipe, as opposed to a strongly flavored extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (highly recommend Parmigiano-Reggiano)
*It's not traditional, but for extra richness add 1 tablespoon of butter when you toss with the cheese.