Crowd-Pleaser Pasta

I first encountered this pasta dish at a little old-school Italian place called Vincent’s. I was delighted at how it was light and fresh, but it maintained a rich flavor. I couldn’t finish the massive plate, but I found myself eating it for breakfast the next morning. It was even fantastic cold.

I should call this Crack Pasta. Or maybe just Breath Mint Pasta. This is an addictive Italian classic that is heavy on the spice, and heavier on the garlic. It’s incredibly easy, requires ingredients you already have in your pantry, and is simple enough that you can whip it up for a big crowd in a flash. And if everyone at the dinner table reeks of garlic, then no one will mind!

Because this pasta relies on only four main ingredients, you want to make sure you use high quality products. Get the best olive oil and pasta you can afford, and make sure to use freshly minced garlic. Dried chili flakes work great, but fresh chili peppers are even better.

Suzannah Schneider is an Environmental Studies and International Development major at Tulane University. Yesterday she went to the farmers market bought 12 pints of the last picking of local Ponchatoula strawberries for $12, and delightfully spent the evening washing, hulling, and freezing them.


Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Chili Peppers
Serves 4
Adapted from Delallo

1 pound dried spaghetti
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves finely minced garlic
1 dried small red chili, seeded and minced or 2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
Optional: freshly chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding a few tablespoons of salt just before the water boils. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until the pasta is very al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. As soon as the oil gets hot, add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, allowing the the garlic to become blond. Quickly add the chili. Add 3 or so tablespoons of the boiling water from the pasta, and set aside until the pasta is ready.

Drain the pasta, and place it in a big serving bowl. Pour the olive oil mixture of the spaghetti and toss well. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Originally posted on Monday, June 11th, 2012

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