After writing that I wasn’t craving any special dinners, I suddenly couldn’t stop thinking about my old time favorite: this pasta with loads of cripsy garlic, a generous amount of spicy chili peppers, good olive oil that is infused with these flavors and topped with parsley and more cheese than can be good for you.
In the year before moving to Beijing I ate this carb bomb at least once a week. It is my ultimate comfort food, so I would mostly make it when I would be busy stressing about deadlines, but it also cures mean hangovers – that last one might be the reason why I was craving it so badly this weekend..
Anyway, this pasta dish is so easy to make, it might take you 15 minutes on your slowest mode from start to finish. Once you’ve figured out how much garlic and chili you can handle, you don’t need to bother measuring or tasting while cooking.
Italians will probably think that I’m using the wrong pasta, too much and the wrong type of chili and the amount of cheese will make them rage, but these are the quantities I like. It makes quite a strong flavored dish, you don’t want to make out with anyone after eating this – or more so, other people don’t want to make out with you anymore. Just play around with the quantities and see what you prefer.
Also, the pasta in the pictures looks too dense, I should have added more water to make it into a velvety sauce, cause now it looks a bit like a big lump of carbs and fat (not necessarily a bad thing). So just make sure you add the right amount of water, which is something you can also do along the way of eating it. Meaning: another easy and foolproof recipe.
Recipe for 1 person, but it can be easily multiplied
the amount of spaghetti that will still the hunger of one person
1-2 garlic cloves (depending on how big and strong they are)
1 chili pepper, including the seeds (the chilies in my supermarket aren’t that strong, but if your chilies are stronger I recommend to use only half – taste a tiny little piece of chili to figure this out)
5 tbsp olive oil
1/4 – 3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan (I normally use 3/4 cup, but not everyone shares my Dutch love for cheese, so use the amount you like)
handful of chopped parsley
Boil water for your pasta.
Thinly slice the garlic and chop the chili peppers. Add the olive oil, garlic and chili to a pan and put it on a low heat.
Bowl the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package. If you’re using home made pasta you have to wait till the garlic has some more color.
Grate the Parmesan and chop the parsley.
Let the garlic get nice and crispy, but make sure not to let it burn. Low heat is the trick here. When the garlic has the right color (see pictures) turn of the heat.
Take a cup of the pasta water and put it aside. Drain the pasta, add the garlic, chili and oil and quickly toss them together. Add a little bit of the water, then some cheese and toss it again. Continue till the pasta is covered in a velvety, silky sauce (something I didn’t do enough that time I took these pictures).
Put the pasta on a plate and sprinkle with the fresh parsley.