Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil & Red Chili Flakes

Hubby is a traditionalist. He loves pasta with red sauce. If you offer an Alfredo sauce, he will quickly give a polite no. It is red sauce all the way. Me on the other hand, I like red sauce but would much rather enjoy a creamy sauce with nutmeg and parmesan cheese infused within it's delightful creamy texture. Oh and throw in quite a bit of fresh ground pepper, I am in pasta heaven.

A few years ago, I made the traditional Spaghetti Aglio e Olio and it was a complete hit with hubby. So much of a hit that he asks for it often – that is a good thing, since it is one of my absolute favorites. Even more than a good Fettuccini Alfredo; not too mention that it is a bit healthier for you. I often refer to this pasta as the one with garlic, olive oil and red peppers and parmesan cheese.

Although I don’t indulge in pasta as often as I would like, when I do it is the ultimate comfort food. Last weekend it was rather cool and more like winter than a fresh spring day. I had quite a bit I needed to accomplish around the house and decided a bit of comfort food was in store for me. I whipped up a fourth portion of this pasta and caught up on several episodes of Real Housewives of Atlanta. The housewife series are pure mindless television and help to numb the brain from everyday stress. Sometimes you just need to not think about much and relax.

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil & Red Chili Flakes

1 pound dried spaghetti
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 to 2 t. crushed red chili flakes
1/3 C. Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese (add more if you desire)
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a tablespoon of salt then add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain well.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat – do not let it get too hot. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to lightly brown, approximately 3 to5 minutes.

Add cooked pasta to the oil along with the reserved 1/4 cup pasta water. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley, half of the cheese, and salt and pepper and toss well. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl or individual bowls, top with remaining parsley and cheese. If you desire more cheese, leave a large bowl out to add more.


  1. Another reason why we're friends--we like the same kind of pasta. :) This is the kind of recipe that is perfect for a quick, easy meal without compromising flavor. I can see why your hubs would request this often--mine would, too, if he's not in the mood for pomodoro sauce. :)

    Hope you're having a nice weekend! :)

  2. No red sauce?! Hubby is craaazy!! haha But this sounds lovely. Who wouldn't like it? :)

  3. This is one of my favorite quick ways to enjoy flavorful and simple! I sometimes will sear some shrimp to add on top if I want some protein to go with the meal. Hope you're having a nice weekend!!

  4. Heh, this is exactly what we had for dinner tonight! Great minds think alike :) But yours looks much, much prettier. Happy weekend!

  5. Heh, this is exactly what we had for dinner tonight! Great minds think alike :) But yours looks much, much prettier. Happy weekend!

  6. Heh, this is exactly what we had for dinner tonight! Great minds think alike :) But yours looks much, much prettier. Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  7. Your hubs is much like mine! It took quite a while before he ventured away from dousing his pasta with red sauce (the one exception was clam sauce!). But I know he would love this...garlic is our equalizer :)

    Hope you enjoyed this sunshiney weekend, Lisa! xo

  8. Hi Lisa,

    I'm new to your blog but I've seen you pop up quite frequently in the comments of blogs I frequent, so I had to come visit. This pasta dish looks deliciously simple, just the type of comfort food I love.

  9. Lisa, I am such a fan of the simple deliciousness of this dish. I could eat that any time!
    Have a good week:)

  10. this is my go-to pasta and the base of many other variations! i LOVE this dish beyond words. It's simple, it's cheap, it's fast, it's delicious! we always have pasta once a week, and this is definitely in the rotation!


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