In Italian recipes, a simple garlic and olive oil sauce is known as aglio e olio. This classic pasta recipe comes together quickly, so it's a good weeknight dinner. Just pair it with a green salad and a bottle of wine. Spaghettini is in between the sizes of vermicelli and spaghetti, so either of those is a good substitute. Be careful not to overcook the garlic, as browned garlic tastes bitter. Push the garlic to one side of the pan so it will cook evenly.
6 quarts water
2 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound uncooked spaghettini
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to Make It
Bring 6 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta; partially cover, and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 6 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking water.
While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant or beginning to turn golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, reserved 1 cup cooking water, parsley, and pepper.
Add pasta to pan, stirring well to coat. Return pan to medium heat; cook 1 minute or until pasta is al dente, tossing to coat. Place 1 cup pasta mixture in each of 8 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve immediately.
La Cucina di Lidia (Lidia's Italian Kitchen), Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia's Family Table; Felidia, Becco, and Esca, New York City; Lidia's Kansas City; Lidia's Pittsburgh