Friday, 12 July 2019

Quick Recipes: Spaghetti Alio e Olio

Pasta is effing wonderful. It's joyful, it's comforting, it's beautiful. One of my favourite pasta recipes is the classic alio e olio. I love it so much that I once ate it for breakfast. No regrets.

Cue some pics!


(Makes two portions)

  • 200g spaghetti*
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic**
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or more if you like it spicier) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • A handful of fresh parsley***
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese****

*You can also use tagliatelle or linguine if you like
**I use a lot of garlic in my cooking and I always try and tone it down for recipes, so use more or less depending on your preference
***If using dried parsley, use about 1-2 tsp
****Fun fact: more traditional recipes forgo the parmesan or pecorino altogether, this is because these kinds of cheeses were very expensive and poorer families would often substitute in breadcrumbs!


Peel and chop the cloves of garlic into even slices. Heat the oil and cook the garlic until softened, make sure the oil doesn't get too hot otherwise the garlic will burn! When the garlic has softened, add the chilli flakes and lemon juice and lower the heat.

At the same time, boil a pan of salted water and cook the pasta until it's softened, but still has some hardness to it. Retain some of the pasta water (about a ladle full), and drain the rest.

Add the pasta water to the garlic, oil, chilli and lemon juice (trust me, it works really well), then add the cooked pasta and stir for a few minutes. When all the liquid has been absorbed, add the parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.

Serve up, and add as much grated parmesan/pecorino as you like. Life's too short to scrimp on parmesan.

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