Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper Flakes

If you love a burst of garlic flavor and a spicy kick to your everyday dish, this recipe is worth a try.  Since the pasta is seasoned with olive oil and garlic instead of the usual pasta sauce, this dish is so refreshing and will complement any white or dark meat dish. I served this with rotisserie chicken. The other good news: it is a very inexpensive way to spice up your pasta. Moreover, this dish is so fresh, very tasty and so easy to make. Since I love garlic, I put a lot more than three cloves, but you can vary it. Also, the garlic flavor will come out even more if you smash the garlic first, then finely chop it before sauteing it in olive oil. Another thing that you can adjust is the pepper flakes. Since I love spicy food, I followed this recipe. Some people do not handle spice very well, so instead of 1 tablespoon of pepper flakes, just use 1 teaspoon. To up the flavor of this sauceless pasta, I also added grated parmesan. Mmmm…. such an easy dinner!

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper Flakes

modified from Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis

  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • shredded parmesan
  1. In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, following pasta box instructions. Drain pasta in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. The reserved pasta water will help create the sauce. Do not rinse pasta with water — you want to retain the pasta’s natural starches so that the sauce will stick.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant. It’s important not too burn the garlic or else it will become bitter.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Carefully add the reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Place the spaghetti into the pan and mix well for 1 minute.
  4. Remove pan from heat and top with shredded parmesan.
  5. You can also top it with chopped fresh basil and fresh mint.



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