Garlic and Oil

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Garlic and oil (we called it agghia e ogghiu, in Sicilian) is such a basic combination in Italian cooking, I thought it would be a good idea to put this together to serve as a base for some future recipes.That’s not to say it can’t be eaten on its own. It’s an incredibly satisfying meal with minimal ingredients and doesn’t take much longer than boiling a pot of water.My mom would usually make this when she was completely out of time and had her 4 starved children breathing down her neck. She would make it with raw garlic. Simply pour olive oil on minced garlic, add herbs, toss hot pasta over it, and of course, sprinkle (or in my case, dump) grated cheese on it. She always said raw garlic will fight a cold, but nothing will fight that breath. I’ll stick to cooking it, thank you very much.
1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt (I’m not sure how much exactly, I just kind of eyeball it. They say, like salt water). Add pasta and cook for as long as the directions indicate (mine was about 9 min). Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the rest.
2. While your pasta is cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large skillet on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic (they should sizzle when they hit the pan). Cook until they become a light gold color. Turn off the heat and add the crushed red pepper. The garlic will continue to cook in the hot pan so keep a close eye on it, you don’t want to let them get too dark, or it will become bitter. If necessary, you can add a little pasta water to the garlic and oil to stop the cooking.
3. Take your pasta and toss it in the skillet with the garlic and oil. If the pasta seems a little dry, begin to add some of the pasta water you put aside. Add parsley, toss, and plate. Serve with grated cheese (such as pecorino romano or parma… nah, pecorino romano).

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