Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Aglio e Olio

on August 1, 2014

The ultimate Italian comfort dish. It’s one that is so simple yet so delicious that you can taste the love in every bite. The one thing I find is that when a dish requires very few ingredients, it’s best to use the finest you can find. I found this artisanal pasta at my local grocery, and I thought for this dish it would be perfect. I also used a California, extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. A good quality cheese, Pecorino Romano. This sheep’s milk cheese works well in this dish, because it’s a little sharper in flavor.

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In a large deep pan, I added 1/2 a cup of E.V.O.O. To that I added 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes, totally optional. I just like a little heat for this recipe. Anyway, for the garlic, I grated 5 cloves right into the cold olive oil. You want to start the pan cold and then slowly bring up the heat to infuse the garlic flavor. Not too high, just enough to heat the garlic through the oil. When you see little bubbles appear in the oil as if the oil is starting to get hot, lower the heat to the lowest temp and keep your eye on it while you cook the pasta. Don’t forget to salt the pasta water, it’s the only time you can season the pasta.

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When the pasta has reached the al dente stage, I use a large slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the pan with the garlic oil.

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Now because the garlic oil is the sauce, the pasta will absorb it quickly, so what I like to do is add 1-1/2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to the pan before adding the cheese. This will allow the cheese to distribute evenly through the pasta without getting all clumped up. Know what I mean? I add 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and I chop up some fresh, flat leaf Italian parsley, around 2 tablespoons or so and throw that in as well. When you’re finished you have a delicious bowl of pasta that will cure any craving.

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