Aglio e Olio (content warning: sacrilege)

Very simple in theory but steep learning curve in practice. I've made it 2 times so far. Second time was better but still could be improved. These are my notes.


> Extra virgin olive oil. I use this one

> Spaghettoni. This recipe doesn't use many strong flavors, so the flavor of the actual pasta comes out. If you want to try a fancier pasta, this would be a good recipe to use it with. Find my recommendations here

> Garlic. See storage tips here

> Red chili pepper. You can sub this with dried red pepper flakes, but it's better not to. All the other ingredients will make the sauce sticky and oily, and the pepper is needed to balance it out with some zing and pep. Using a real pepper is worthwhile.


> Start boiling water. Usually you'd boil a deep pot of water, but not for this. We'll be using the water, and if there's too much water it won't be starchy enough to create a thick sauce. So find a wide and shallow skillet. Fill it up just enough to fit the pasta once it softens.

> Cut parsley. Use a good amount, maybe 10 stems. Separate stems from leaves. Keep the stems whole because we'll want to remove them from the sauce. Chop the leaves to a size smaller than the noodle thickness. Use a sharp knife and a slicing motion so you don't crush them.

> Cut pepper. Cut to tiny pieces, same as the parsley. Maybe don't use the seeds.

> Chop 4 cloves of galic. Either smash them, or dice them very tiny, or mix and match. If you smash, the garlic will take a bit longer to cook, but it will taste softer. You'll also be able to remove it from the sacue. Instead if you dice it will cook in 30 sec, and will remain in the sauce and make it more sticky.

> Heat oil on low. Use a tall skillet or a pot because we'll be stirring pasta in this later. Use a burner next to the other skillet because we'll be transferring pasta over. Use enough oil to coat the bottom. Oil will make up a third of our final sauce by volume.


> Salt the water. Keep in mind that more than half of the water will probably be unused, so salt more than you'd think. But you can also salt a bit after cooking, so it's safer to undersalt.

> Add pasta when water boils. It won't fit in the skillet straight, but it will bend eventually. Use tongs to move it a bit so it doesn't stick to itself. But don't move it too much out of place. We'll want to take it out using tongs at the end, and it would be nice to grab all the noodles in one scoop right at the middle.

🚧 Work In Progress 🚧