It’s no secret that I love garlic. It is one of my favorite ingredients, and in my opinion, there are very few dishes that are not enhanced by the addition of some freshly minced garlic. With this dish, I really wanted the flavor of garlic to come through, so I kept the recipe quite simple. I focused on infusing the aroma and flavor of fresh garlic into olive oil, and then tossing it with red crushed peppers, herbs, and pasta, creating a delicious flavor-filled, light Italian dish!
If you recall, a few months ago, I couldn’t get enough of one of my favorite Italian plates made with olive oil, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese, over some spaghetti or spaghetti squash, otherwise known as Cacio e Pepe. This recipe is yet another simple Italian pasta dish that has quickly become one of our favorites, especially on hot days when you’re looking for a lighter meal.
What’s your favorite simple and light pasta combination?
Four years ago: Tofu Scramble – Mexican Style (vegan, gluten-free)
Three years ago: Vegan Creme Brulee (vegan, gluten-free)
Two years ago: Stuffed Mushrooms w/Breadcrumbs (contains dairy, contains gluten)
One year ago: Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Frozen Waffles (vegan, gluten-free)
- 1 lb. spaghetti pasta or spagehtti squash
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teasp crushed red pepper flakes increase to add more spice
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parseley minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves minced
- optional 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated (omit for vegan option)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add some olive oil and cook the spaghetti al dente. Set aside 1 cup of the pasta water before you drain the pasta. In the meantime, continue to prepare the sauce.
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the garlic and red crushed peppers and cook until the garlic starts to soften and turn yellow-light brown in color. Stir frequently and be sure not to over cook the garlic. This may take 8-10 minutes.
- Add the pasta and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water into the skillet and toss with the garlic infused olive oil until well combined.
- Add the minced Italian parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you feel the pasta is to dry, feel free to add a little more of the reserved pasta water.
- (optional) Add the Parmesan cheese and toss to combine.
- Serve warm or hot!
For a gluten-free option, use your favorite gluten-free pasta or spaghetti squash.