This Italian staple is meal-time gold.  And considered a go-to late night snack.  It's a simple dish made with garlic, a whisper of dried chili peppers and -- the most important ingredient -- fresh extra virgin olive oil. Use this easy dish as a great side by adding kale towards the end of cooking. 

1/2 package spaghetti (450g)
Salt (at least 1-1/2 tbsp)
1/2 cup fresh extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 tbsp Garlic olive oil)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or 1 tsp Cayenne olive oil)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 cup chopped parsley (or 1 tbsp Gremolata olive oil)
1 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan


    Boil a large pot of water generously seasoned with salt.  When the water has reached a rolling boil add the spaghetti according to package instructions, and cook until it is not quite al dente.

    While the pasta is cooking, in a skillet on medium heat, add EVOO, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. 

    Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Do not rinse pasta.

    Transfer spaghetti to skillet. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and stir rapidly until pasta is al dente. The sauce should be thickened and emulsified, coating the pasta (3-5 minutes). Add more pasta water as necessary.

    OPTION:  Add 1/2 of the cheese to the skillet when adding spaghetti. Remove from heat, add the chopped parsley and serve with a generous portion of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the side. 

    OPTION:  Add fresh quartered cocktail tomatoes and toss with parsley before serving. Serve with drizzles of EVOO.

    OPTION: Add kale (or other leafy green) in batches. Place in garlic/oil mixture until wilted. Then transfer spaghetti to pan and follow above directions.