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Mains

Aglio e olio

Aglio e olio
Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

If imported Italian dry pasta were choice A and fresh pasta were choice B and I could only choose one to eat for the rest of my life, there would be no contest. I’d choose A, dry pasta. Many home ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes | About 4 servings
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 peeled garlic cloves, root trimmed, sliced vertically (can add more to taste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red chile pepper flakes to taste (lately I like using Aleppo pepper)
  • Healthy pinch of Kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • About 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Small handful of coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 pound imported Italian spaghetti

Step 1Add enough oil to a small skillet to generously coat the bottom of the pan by about ¼-inch (you will want enough oil to stew the garlic, not saute). Add the garlic and cook over low heat until the garlic turns translucent and gives off its aroma. You may want to allow it to get a bit more golden, but remember that it keeps cooking off the heat and burns quickly. Add the chile flakes and allow to sizzle for a few seconds. Remove the pan from heat, add salt to taste and squeeze the lemon juice into the pan. Add the parsley and stir to mix.

Step 2Meanwhile, cook the pasta in abundant boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, leaving a bit of moisture clinging to the pasta. Place the pasta in a serving bowl, add the garlic-oil mixture and toss well to mix. Serve immediately.

Note: When figuring dry pasta amounts I use the Italian convention of 100 grams per person.

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