Every year, I travel back to my beautiful home country of Malaysia to be with my family. I wish to share my experience with readers!
Spaghetti aglio e olio is one of my favorite classic Italian dishes. I love the simplicity and the freshness of it. Since it is very easy to make, this dish is perfect for a family dinner.
Originally from Naples, Italy, spaghetti aglio e olio translates to pasta in garlic and oil sauce. I remember when I lived in Italy, I had the opportunity to learn how to cook this dish with an old Italian lady, or signora. Since I lived with her, I liked watching her prepare and cook Italian meals using all of the old-fashioned techniques. It reminded me of watching my mother cook when I was growing up.
The main ingredients of this dish are garlic, olive oil, peperoncino (red chili peppers), and pasta. However, if you wish to add some protein, you can include shrimp or mussels.
By the way, the secret to making a good pasta dish is to add some water that you used to boil the pasta. Just remember to save half a cup when you drain the pasta. Later, we will add that water back to the pan. As soon as the water and the oil mix together in the pan, it will produce a thin and light sauce. Plus, it gives a tasty flavor to the dish.
Let's take a look at the ingredients.
- 6 ounces spaghetti
- 1/2 pound shrimp
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 6–7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6–7 cherry tomatoes, cut into half
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Cook the pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to bite, about 11 minutes.
- Drain and transfer the pasta to a large bowl. (Remember to save a 1/2 cup of water.)
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic and the red pepper flakes until they are slightly golden brown.
- Add the shrimp into the pan. Let the shrimp cook thoroughly for about 4 minutes.
- Toss the pasta into the pan and try to incorporate the pasta with the mixture.
- Add salt, pepper, and reserved pasta water into the pan. Continue stirring for 1 minute.
- Throw in the cherry tomatoes. Give a quick stir to combine, then remove the pan from heat.
- Place the pasta on a plate. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and grated Parmigiano cheese.
- Serve immediately.
© 2018 Liza