Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil (Aglio e Olio)
Chef's Notes: When there’s nothing in your refrigerator except garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, and parsley, you can put this together in all of 20 minutes. (It’s also a fantastic midnight snack!)
Pasta and sauce: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, and add the olive oil, garlic, and dried chiles. Sauté until garlic is very lightly brown, 4–5 minutes. Finish the sauce by turning heat to low and adding the chopped parsley and 8–10 grinds of black pepper. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti: When the water is boiling, add 2 large pinches of salt, then add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, about 3 minutes less than what the box advises, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t clump. Reserve ¾ cup pasta water.
Assembly: Drain the pasta, then return to the pot. Pour reserved pasta water and sauce into the pot. Cook over low heat, gently tossing the pasta with the sauce for 1–2 minutes to allow it to “marry”—or absorb—the sauce. The pasta should be firm to the bite. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer to a platter or bowl and serve immediately.
Skills you'll learn