Simple Spaghetti

This is a super simple recipe, which I would serve with a tossed salad or steamed broccoli for an easy meal.  You don’t actually make a sauce for this dish, it’s just garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil, plus a garnish of fresh herbs. This amount serves 2 generously as a main dish.

Aglio, olio, e pepperoncino (Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and pepper flakes)
1/2 lb. spaghetti noodles
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced

Garnish:
2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

Boil the spaghetti noodles in salted water until al dente (still slightly chewy, but soft too). Reserve 2 Tbsp. of cooking water, but drain the rest – do NOT rinse noodles.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add noodles with reserved cooking liquid and toss to coat them thoroughly with the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with fresh herb mixture. Serve immediately.

Note: the recipe actually says to saute garlic in the oil and then remove the garlic – so that you just keep the essence of the garlic in the oil – THEN add the red pepper flakes and continue with the recipe. But I love garlic, so I left it in. If you’re looking for a more subtle flavor, you  might try the other method.

Adapted from: Everyday Italian, by Giada de Laurentiis

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