1/4 cup(30 grams)grated parmesan, plus more to serve
1Tbspolive oil, plus more to serve
1-2garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup(120 ml)cooking water, plus more if needed
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4-1/2tspchili flakes, or according to taste(optional)
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
Right before draining, reserve a cup of starchy pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm 1 Tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the garlic (plus a good pinch of chili flakes if you like) for 2-3 minutes. Use a low flame, do not let the garlic burn.
Then stir the cream cheese and about 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water. Stir to combine oil, cream cheese, water and create a nice and creamy emulsion. Add parmesan cheese and stir well. Your pasta sauce is ready.
Drain and add your pasta to the skillet. Stir well to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce, add more cooking water as needed for a smooth and creamy consistency.
Serve immediately with a drizzle of good olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper (if you don't use chili flakes). Enjoy!
QUANTITIES: the recipe makes 2 large servings or 3 smallish servings.CREAM CHEESE: I use cream cheese in the tub, Philadelphia to be more precise.SEASONING: the cooking pasta water contains salt, so you're not supposed to add any salt to the cream cheese. However, you might want to taste the cream cheese anyway and adjust to your taste.PASTA SHAPE: I love spaghetti, but any pasta will work just fine, short, long, normal or fancy. Use dried not fresh pasta.PARMESAN: finely grate your own parmesan, but don't use store-bought sandy parmesan, it will not melt.LEFTOVER: it keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. Add a tiny splash of water to loosen up the sauce if needed and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Note: I would advise to reheat only a short type of pasta like penne or fusilli rather than spaghetti.