Donal Skehan: Spaghetti aglio e olio

The ideal supper using ingredients you are bound to have in the kitchen

Spaghetti aglio e olio is made in the time it takes to cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water

Spaghetti aglio e olio is made in the time it takes to cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water

Fri, Mar 24, 2017, 12:00

   
  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking Time: 15 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • Serves 4
  • 400g best quality dried spaghetti
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • A small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus extra for garnish
  • From the storecupboard:
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Method

Despite my best intentions, green juices and yoga, I’m fairly sure that my easy quick-fix supper choices will always come back to pasta. Essentially spaghetti aglio e olio is pasta in garlic oil, but cooked correctly, the dish results in something really special: a perfectly scented, extra virgin oil-infused garlic and chilli, silkily wrapped around al dente pasta and brought together with the salty bite of Parmesan. It’s the ideal storecupboard supper using ingredients you are bound to have in the kitchen and rather satisfyingly is made in the time it takes to cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water. Though this recipe is fairly true to the original, if you need more substance, add a twist of lemon juice, some tender prawns sautéed in butter or add wilted spinach, or griddled asparagus and baby broccoli.

Place a large pot of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add a generous seasoning of salt.

Cook the spaghetti for 9-12 minutes or until al dente.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup or so of the liquid and place back in the pot.

While the spaghetti is cooking, place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil.

Add the garlic while the oil is still coming to temperature and cook until slightly golden for 4-5 minutes. Add in the red chilli flakes and fry for a further minute.

Add the oil with garlic and chilli flakes, reserved cooking water, Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley to the cooked pasta and toss until the pasta is evenly coated.

Serve straight away with more grated Parmesan cheese.