Aglio e olio (Basic oil and garlic sauce) To die for




Water for boiling
1 lb. spaghetti or other pasta
1 tablespoon salt for pasta water
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes (peperoncino) or a few whole dried peppers
1/4 cup pasta water (or more)
1 clove finely minced garlic
Chopped Italian parsley to taste
1/2 cup or more freshly grated parmesan, grana or asiago cheese
Heat a heavy skillet and add good extra virgin olive oil. Don’t let the pan get too hot. Add chopped garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. The flavor should slowly sweat out of the garlic. It shouldn’t brown or it will get bitter.
Add the water from the pasta to the oil and garlic mixture, and stir vigorously (you can even use a whisk) to form an emulsion.
Drain the pasta. Add the garlic-oil-water sauce, the minced garlic, parsley and cheese, toss and serve. Offer salt, freshly ground pepper and additional cheese to taste. Remove whole peppers if you used them
Serves four as first course.