Monday, March 17, 2008

Spaghettini with Garlic Oil

Or, Spaghettini Aglio e Olio.

A few days ago I visited The New Cook and read about Andy's Aglio e Olio Pasta. Dressing pasta with olive oil cooked with garlic (and other bits you may have around your kitchen) is one of those comfort foods anyone from an Italian neighborhood knows. It really brought back some memories.

When I was in my teens and cooking for our family, I used to add a can of tuna to this recipe. You'd be surprised how delicious that is! Other additions and combinations include cherry tomatoes, shallots, various herbs, fresh green beans, even a good squeeze of lemon... you're only limited by your imagination here!

I had to make some.

I stayed pretty close to the original, adding only onion, basil, oregano and red pepper flake for some spice, finishing with a little butter, and tossing it all with spaghettini and topping with a generous dusting of pecorino romano cheese.

Pasta with Garlic Oil
serves 2

- 1/2 pound spaghettini, or pasta of choice, cooked in boiling salted water according to package directions, drained, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking liquid
- olive oil - several good turns around the pan... maybe 1/4 cup (sorry, I didn't measure--it was about 1/4 inch depth in my 8-inch saute pan)
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic (I used three very large cloves), minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

Saute onion in olive oil over medium-low heat until transparent; add garlic, basil, red pepper flake and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown (this only takes about 2 to 3 minutes). Immediately remove from heat. Add butter and let melt. Toss with cooked pasta and reserved pasta cooking liquid; dust generously with grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese.

Although this is probably the simplest of Italian recipes, I'm bringing it to the Festa Italiana, a foodblogging event celebrating Italian Food, co-hosted by Finding La Dolce Vida and Proud Italian Cook.

See the roundup Part 1 and Part 2 for lots and lots of delicious-looking Italian dishes from around the blogosphere!


Anonymous said...

I love this too. Simple and delicious. Thanks for joining us for the festa :)

Mrs. W said...

My pleasure, Maryann. I look forward to what promises to be a delicious--and fattening--roundup!

Proud Italian Cook said...

This is Italian comfort food for me! Great flavors, and a welcome addition to our Festa Italiana, thanks so much for bringing this dish!!

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Marie! I'm pleased to join your event!

Mary said...

I love this dish! I had it for dinner a lot when I was starving my way through college. I'll have to try it with some tuna. That sounds great!

Mrs. W said...

Hey, Mary... do try it with tuna... it's certainly a budget-stretcher! (One that I had to come up with as a teenager to avoid Tuna Helper. *gag*)

BTW, did you get your package yet?

Anonymous said...

There hasn't been a single (Italian) party I've been to that didn't end up with someone making this - usually at midnight - no matter what or how much we had already eaten at dinner. This Festa wouldn't have been complete without it!

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Fruttodellapassione! Admittedly I haven't been to too many real-life Italian Festas... this dish just made sense to me, because it is the quintessential comfort food!

I love your blog--have just added you to my feed!

Bellini Valli said...

I ate far too much of this at the Festa...did I leave any for anyone else?

Mrs. W said...

Hehe... well, I suppose that's the beauty of this dish... we can always make more from pantry ingredients!

Anonymous said...

Oooooo. This is PERFECT! I just bought a JUMBO container of garlic cloves from Costco & I'm going to use this recipe this week. You make it look divine. Yippie! Thanks for sharing.

xoxox Amy

Mrs. W said...

Well thank you, familiabencomo! This recipe will put that garlic to good use. As my husband says, "Can there really ever be too much garlic?" The cooking really mellows the garlic, so don't be afraid to kick it up!

Ann said...

One of my absolute favorite meals! Yours looks delicious!

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Ann!

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