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Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

spaghetti tossed in garlic and red pepper infused oil and garnished with Parmesan cheese and parsley

Some nights time is very short, and it is tempting to just get takeout of some kind.  This recipe has been a life changer for us because 1, everyone absolutely loves it.  2, it takes about fifteen minutes to get on the table.  3, it costs just a couple of dollars for the entire meal which saves a ton over eating out!

Aglio, Olio d Peperoncino means garlic, oil and red chili peppers in Italian.  This pasta is so flavorful, but uses very simple ingredients that I always have on hand.  I originally saw this dish made on a show where a couple of chefs mentioned that they often make this when they get home late and want something yummy to eat, but don't want to spend a lot of time cooking because they have been cooking all day!  My first thought was oh my goodness, I need something like this in my recipe rotation!

Al dente spaghetti noodles tossed in extra virgin olive oil that has been infused with garlic and red pepper flakes and then topped with Parmesan and fresh parsley is literally a comfort food treat.  (I like a squeeze of fresh lemon over mine too!)  It's surprising delicious, super simple and my go-to dish when I need something on the table in under 15 minutes!  I can tell you that we make this at least once a week on that night that the day just got away from you, but everyone is so excited when they hear this is whats for dinner.

Ingredients
  • 16oz spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced, (or 1 Tbsp jarred minced garlic in a pinch)
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (I used white, but either works)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (found in pasta aisle)
  • Fresh grated Parmesan for serving  (found in dairy section)
  • Minced fresh parsley (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions for "al dente."  
  2. While it is cooking, take a large skillet or frying pan and heat the oil with the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium high.  (Don't let it burn.) 
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it in to the skillet.
  4. Add salt and pepper and toss it with tongs until it is evenly coated.  
  5. Remove from the heat, add the cup of grated Parmesan and toss again.  
  6. Serve and garnish with plenty of fresh grated parm and a couple pinches of parsley.

Additional note:  I absolutely love this recipe with freshly squeezed lemon added at the table too. This is entirely optional, but it's a nice, fresh addition to me, especially if you added the parsley.

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