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CLASSIC ITALIAN PASTA

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 olive oil.


SERVES:  4
INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1/2 package spaghetti (450g)
  • Salt (at least 1-1/2 tbsp)
  • ½ cup fresh olive oil (California)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmegiano Reggiano

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Boil a large pot of water (at least 16 cups), 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, prepare the sauce by combining the Arbequina olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt in a large skillet/fry pan. Cook slowly over medium low heat, letting the oil absorb the flavours from the garlic and chili pepper flakes.
  • Transfer the spaghetti with tongs to the skillet along with ½ cup of the pasta water. Turn the heat  to medium high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly until the pasta is al dente. The sauce should be thickened and emulsified, coating the pasta (3-5 minutes). Add more oil to taste.  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.


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