Assuming of course, that you're a garlic lover too. If you're not, you might as well skip this post. lol
The first time I had this dish, at a little Italian restaurant in southern Oregon called...Mama's...I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was loaded with fresh garlic and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and fresh parsley, which I love. Since then, I have made it for special occasions and for everyday fare. It is quick and easy and will leave you breathless. (Well...your friends might wish it did, anyway) lol Actually, one of the things I love about this recipe is that the garlic becomes very mild and sweet, but still definitely garlicky. We had a Valentine's Day/Irishman's Birthday party one year and I made a BIG batch of Spaghetti Marinara, with or without home made meatballs or Italian sausages, and a smaller batch of this. It's always hard to tell how people are going to react to dishes that are a little out of their comfort zones. They gobbled this up so fast, I had to make a second batch! Luckily it's great for that...
It's called Aglio y Olio. That's just Italian for Garlic and Oil. I like it best with a tender organic angel hair pasta. Here's the list of ingredients:
About 1/2 cup of good EVOO
At least one full head of garlic (I use more)
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Cracked black pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Finely chopped fresh parsley, at least a third of a cup
Half a pound of a good organic angel hair pasta
Peel the garlic and slice each clove into thin slices.
Over low heat, put the EVOO in a large pan (big enough to hold the pasta too, once it's cooked). I just use my large cast iron skillet for this because it heats so evenly and I can. lol Throw in the garlic. I have a gas stove and I always use a diffuser on the burner for dishes like this, because you absolutely DO NOT want that garlic to burn. It needs to be softly sauteed in the oil until it turns a light golden brown around the edges. It will take about 10-15 minutes on low heat.
In a saucepan, cook the angel hair pasta and set it aside. If you start it after the garlic, it won't have to sit long. Angel hair pasta cooks quickly, so be sure to watch it and don't over cook.
Once the garlic is about done, sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and cook about 5 minutes more and then turn the heat off. Reserve about a cup of water out of the pasta pan when you drain that pasta, and slowly and carefully, add it to the skillet of garlic and oil. I have never had a problem burning myself while doing this, as long as you pour it in slowly (especially at first). Then turn the heat back on while you stir, and cook until it reduces by about 1/3.
**Note: I don't always do this step. But when I do, the oil is a little less oily and almost more creamy. You can do it or not. If I have time, I do it. But it's delicioso either way. **
OKAY. Once that is done, you're going to pour your drained (not rinsed) pasta into the big skillet of oil and garlic, and remove it from heat. Since I cook with gas, I just turn the fire off. I add the cracked black pepper, throw in a good sized handful of shredded Parm, and then the chopped parsley. Toss it all together and put it on a plate, with a little freshly shredded Parmesan on top. VOILA!
Add a nice salad of greens from your garden and a piece or two of garlic bread or breadsticks and you've got yourself a satisfying meal and a beautiful plate that you could proudly serve to anyone !!