This simple Italian pasta dish is a wonderful change from spaghetti with tomato sauce. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it!)
OK… this dish (as the name suggests) contains basically three main ingredients:
Linguine (You can also use spaghetti, spaghettini or even fettucine, if you prefer);
Aiglo (i.e. Garlic. If you’re a big garlic fan, add more!); and
Olio (i.e. Oil, specifically olive oil. Get a good kind. A nice green extra virgin olive oil)
The garlic is a key element, so it is crucial that you don’t overcook the garlic. It doesn’t look all that great and, what’s worse, browned garlic tastes bitter and will spoil the flavour of the dish.
I personally like adding red chili pepper flakes but if you have an aversion to hot and spicy, feel free to leave it out. Same with the parsley. Some people love it; some find it annoying.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
- 1/2 pound linguine (or spaghetti, spaghettine, fettucine)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic (adjust up or down depending on taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley (optional)
- coarse salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
- grated parmesan or romano cheese (or a 50-50 blend of both)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).
- While pasta is cooking, heat oil over low heat in a small saucepan.
- Add garlic and saute just until garlic softens but does not brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK!!
- Remove from heat.
- Add pepper flakes to garlic/oil sauce (optional).
- Toss sauce and pasta in a large bowl with tongs.
- Add salt and pepper and cheese to taste.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley (optional).
- Cook the oil and garlic in a large heavy skillet and add the cooked pasta directly into the pan, turning off the heat and tossing well. Transfer to large bowl or individual plates and sprinkle with cheese and parsley;
- In the large skillet, sauté some thinly slivered green pepper and/or sweet onions first, then add the chopped garlic 2 minutes before the green pepper/onions are done. This gives the green pepper/onions a ‘head start’ and doesn’t overcook the garlic.
- For extra flavour, add in a tin of anchovies with or instead of the green peppers! The anchovies kind of melt when cooked so it spreads evenly throughout the sauce.
- This dish is basically pareve (neither meat nor dairy), until the last minute, since you add the cheese right at the end. Leave the cheese out and you can use this dish as the pasta course in a fleishig (meat) meal.
- NB: While this dish (without the cheese) can be served at a meat meal, if you are going to add anchovies be careful not to serve the pasta together with or at the same time as meat (i.e. adding meatballs to it or as a side dish to meat) because of the prohibition against consuming fish and meat at the same time. There is, however, no such prohibition against serving it before a meat course… just not at the same time.
Have fun with this quick and easy dish.