Pasta Aglio Olio
This is a very quick, very delicious, low prep and low ingredient dish. It is perfect for a quick after work meal for the kids. Nice if you want to fake your cooking skills to impress your date too. Had a long night out with some friends and you get back to apartment hungry, don’t go for the cereal. Grab a box of spaghetti or linguini and you’ll have a meal in under 15 minutes. Be sure to call it Pasta Aglio Olio instead of Pasta with Garlic and Oil if you want to sound all gourmet.
Favorite Brand of boxed Linguini or Spaghetti
Half a cup of the best olive oil you have in your pantry
4 cloves of garlic
Half a cup of chopped parsley
Grated cheese to taste
Here’s the quickest way of getting your pasta from the box to the table.
Start your water on your stovetop, and salt your water (Use a pot big enough for the whole box of pasta)
In a small pan, pour in your oil. Place on low heat as you don’t want to burn your garlic, you are simply warming the oil so that you may infuse the garlic taste in all of the oil. If you like spice, drop in some red pepper flakes in the oil a minute or so before your pasta is finished boiling so you can infuse some heat as well.
Cut, chop, slice, mince, smash, crush your garlic and drop it in the oil. It’s completely up to your taste. If you plan on taking the garlic out, the larger the pieces the easier to remove. Love your garlic, thinly sliced is nice. I say leave it in as it makes a difference in taste. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use the canned roasted variety. I prefer fresh, or a combination of both. You’ll be making this pasta frequently enough that you can decide by trial and error.
You have your garlic heating, pasta boiling. Take out your cheese. Most will have either pre-grated Parmegiano or Peccorino Romano in their fridge. Either or both will do get it ready for your plating. If you are trying to impress, grab a block of either/both and a cheese grater and get fancy.
Pasta is ready. Strain, and put it in a nice size bowl so it will be easier to toss your pasta. Pour the oil and garlic on top and start to toss. Drop in your parsley and continue to toss, coating the pasta with the garlic infused oil. Fresh Parsley is the toughest ingredient here. Most people will have olive oil, pasta and cheese in their kitchens. I usually will have fresh parsley growing on my window sill or in my garden 9 months out of the year. Luckily every grocery store will have fresh parsley for those of us who don’t have a green thumb. Now you may be asking, what do you do for fresh parsley in the dead of winter? Parsley freezes well. If you don’t think you’ll use all the parsley before it starts to wilt, chop a half of a cup of cleaned parsley for your pasta now and put the rest in a cup of water. Next day clean and chop the rest and put it in your freezer in half a cup portions for your next recipe challenge.
Ok, your pasta smells good and you’re hungry. Grate some fresh cheese on top of the pasta while still in the large bowl. Toss a few more times and add some more cheese. Pour yourself a glass of wine, plate and enjoy.