I love this recipe because it is both delicious and the essence of Italian cooking: simple and fresh. Finishing the pasta in the pan with the garlic and oil ensures every noodle is perfectly cooked and evenly coated with the delectable sauce.
Technique tip: Always salt your cooking water so that it tastes like a rich broth. It makes all the difference in the flavor of the pasta.
Swap option: Instead of parsley, you can swap any fresh herb. Fresh basil works wonderfully. You can also swap out spaghetti for another thin pasta, such as linguine or capellini.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.2.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.3.
Start cooking the spaghetti in the boiling water.4.
While it cooks, add the garlic to the pan with the warm oil. The oil should be just warm enough that the garlic sizzles gently. Add the crushed red pepper flakes. When the outside edges of the garlic are just starting to brown, add 1 cup of the pasta water and a pinch of salt.5.
Keep cooking, shaking the pan to create an emulsion, until the oil and water mixture no longer has that harsh raw garlic flavor.6.
When the pasta is al dente, after 8-10 minutes, drain it and add it to the pan, along with the chopped parsley, if using, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.