March 24, 2011

"Special" Pasta

Yet another pasta dish.  I had grand plans for dinner last night.  Then it was a nice night and I sat outside too long and played with Beau, and then it was 8pm, I was starved, and my grand plans flew out the window.  I needed something quick and easy and that involved items I already had on hand - enter pasta, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Notice a trend?  Stud and I both discovered our love for this pasta dish - I think called Aglio e Olio in Italy - as young children.  For Stud, it was called "special" pasta, and for me, it was as fancy as things got.  I think I was like twelve before I considered messing with my classic butter and Parmesan cheese.  And now, it takes as long as your pasta does to cook and you're ready to go, so it's become a quick and delicious staple here.

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Pepper Flakes

1 lb pasta
1/4 c. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
1 T. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 T. pasta sprinkle (dried thyme, rosemary, basil)
2 T. butter

Start the pasta water.  I used angel hair simply because it cooks faster.  I was staaaarving.  Anyways, in a large skillet, warm up your olive oil and dice the garlic.  Add to the oil and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.  Add in the pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes more.  I am terrified of burning garlic, so I always watch it like a hawk and turn off the heat as soon as some of the smaller pieces begin turning golden.  In this case, since this cooks much faster than the pasta, I just turned the heat back on when the pasta was finished.  Add the finished pasta to the oil, garlic, and pepper, along with the butter, herbs, and Parmesan cheese and toss to combine over low heat.  Then enjoy your special pasta! 

This was the perfect solo dinner for me last night and I made a ton to bring into work for the rest of the week because I know I will not get sick of this pasta.  It's got a little bit of everything going for it - cheesy, spicy, garlicy, and it's pasta which is my fav.  And it would be so so so much better with some fresh basil, but alas, it's not that warm here yet.  Soon enough... I have grand plans for my garden this year, hopefully things will fare better than they did last year...which was three dead tomato plants, a handful of grape tomatoes, and a ton of parsley.

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