While on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in early July, I ate dinner at an adorable little Italian restaurant called Nona's. I ordered pasta aglio e olio (pasta with garlic and oil) for the first time and can honestly say that it was the best pasta dish I've had in my entire life. A few weeks after coming home and forgetting all about the meal, I came across a recipe for the exact same thing online! I made it for dinner for my family and I, along with some homemade ciabatta (recipe coming soon), and we all loved it! Here's the recipe.
Pasta Aglio e Olio
1 pound spaghetti
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic (about 30 small, 20 medium, 10 large, or 5 extra-large cloves from 1 or 2 heads)
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tsp. lemon juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (optional)
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof serving bowl on rack and heat oven to 200 degrees F. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add pasta and 1 1/2 tsp. table salt to boiling water, stir to separate pasta, and cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta.
2. While water is heating, combine 3 tbsp. olive oil, 3 tbsp. garlic, and 1/2 tsp. table salt or sea salt flakes in heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic foams and is sticky and straw-colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Off heat, add remaining tablespoon raw garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, lemon juice, and 2 tbsp. pasta cooking water to skillet and stir well to keep garlic from clumping.
3. Transfer drained pasta to warm serving bowl (the one you put in the oven); add remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil and remaining reserved pasta cooking water and toss to coat. Add garlic mixture and 3/4 tsp. table salt (or 1 tsp. sea salt flakes) to pasta; toss well to combine. Serve immediately, sprinkling individual bowls with portion of grated Parmesan, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of America's Test Kitchen.