I’ve got italian origins, you can tell. Extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, olives and carbs somehow belong to my genes and this humble and fragrant spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is part of my childhood.
Precisely, it was my parent’s treat on Saturday night. They loved playing cards with their best friends all night long, with only a break for spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic and oil) in the middle of the night. Isn’t that crazy?
I was a child but I clearly remember that gorgeous smell pervading the house while I was in bed: they were cooking and they were laughing at the same time.
Oh yes, Italians might get that carb craving even at night, especially if they play cards like pros. Spaghetti Aglio e olio was so good, was satisfying, was fun. However, it definitely comes in handy after a long day, when you decide pasta is for dinner tonight.
I guarantee that the lovely smell of garlic and chilli gently fried in olive oil will cheer you up.
What you need for this recipe:
- Whole wheat spaghetti
- Extra virgin olive oil, salt
- Fresh or dried chilli
- Parsley (optional)
To make it more special, for people who think this is too simple, you could add a further burst of flavour by including a couple of anchovy fillets and fry them along with the garlic and chilli.
This is a tasty, inexpensive and one of the most crowd-friendly dishes for your last-minute parties, or just the thing when you get home late or don’t feel like cooking.
Sometimes simple food is the best!
SPAGHETTI WITH GARLIC AND OLIVE OIL
- 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti (or white spaghetti)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or olive oil)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 Tbs dried chilli, or to taste (or 3 fresh chillies)
- 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- salt, to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until the spaghetti is soft but still has a little bite.
- While the spaghetti is cooking make the sauce: remove the seeds from the chillies and finely chop. Peel and finely slice or chop the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil gently in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli and cook gently for a few minutes, or until the garlic starts to change colour, which will be enough time for the flavourings to infuse the oil. Take care not to burn the garlic.
- Drain the spaghetti still "al dente" and add to the frying pan, mix to coat with the oil and cook on a medium heat for other 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
- Sprinkle the spaghetti with a generous handful of chopped the parsley and grated parmesan cheese, if you like (I do!) and serve.