While the garlic pieces are frying in the olive oil and I add the red pepper to the oil, these aromas permeate my kitchen, and I am 7 years old again sitting in my Nonna’s kitchen and watching my Nonno making Pasta Con Aglio e Olio. Nonno Mecuzzo made this dish quite spicy (hot) but for me he added breadcrumbs to alleviate the heat. I do the same for my kids …. Since I have been eating this dish spicy since I was seven years old. I add red pepper flakes to my personal dish.
The stress and anxiety rolls off my back while I am eating this dish. Everything is okay, my friend tells me as I twirl its strands against a spoon, the garlic is sweet, the heat distributes itself in different areas of my mouth, I give a sigh of relief; and think I’m okay, I am home with my family that’s all that matters!
Pasta con Aglio e` Olio (Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil)
5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
4-5 cloves of garlic sliced thin
1 lb. of dry spaghetti ( follow the recipe on the box – usually 9 minutes in boiling water to make it al dente)
1-2 Teaspoons of red pepper flakes (pepperoncino)– depending how hot you want it
Add seasoned bread crumbs - this somewhat alleviates the heat – so it is optional.
Parmesan Cheese is also optional – I don’t add it to the dish but have the cheese on the table and make it a personal preference.
Bring pasta water to a boil and add your pasta season the water with salt; if the directions calls for 9 minutes for “al dente” follow the instructions …at the same time:
On low- to medium heat; heat up the oil add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes; allow the garlic to cook in the oil on low heat until the garlic is barely golden brown- remove from heat this should be quick - keep an eye on the oil – do not burn the garlic. Once the garlic is cooked, should take about 5-8 minutes, pour everything in your platter, drain the spaghetti and add to the platter, mix well add about ¼ cup of seasoned breadcrumbs if desired.