I was looking through my recipe box the other day — a mish-mash of index cards, handwritten notes, and old pieces of stationery with tattered edges that I inherited from my Mom — and I came across the recipe that follows.
Obviously, when I was a kid, I did not have this dish with wine. But now, far removed from kid-dom (yes, I just made up that word), it dawns on me that it serves a useful purpose (besides being delicious).
When it comes to Italian pasta dishes, I think most of us automatically presume there will be some kind of rich tomato or meat-based sauce involved. I love such sauces, but they can play havoc with one’s diet.
This dish, on the other hand, garners much of its flavor from garlic. Yes, there is some waist-challenging Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese among the ingredients, but it wouldn’t be Italian without that.
Here’s the best part, though: Even though there’s no red sauce, this is a dish that can be enjoyed with a good Italian red wine — like any of those featured in this Vinesse sampler.
This recipe renders 6 servings (depending on your appetites). Salud!
SPAGHETTINI AGLIO OLIO
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1/2-cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Over high heat, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot.
- Stir the spaghetti into the boiling water.
- Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook, shaking the skillet and stirring, until pale golden.
- Remove from the heat and add crushed pepper.
- Ladle about 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water into the sauce.
- Add the parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to taste.
- Drain pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce.
- Cook until pasta is coated with the sauce and done.
- Serve immediately in warm bowls alongside glasses of Italian red wine.