The Italians call this pasta aglio olio. In New Orleans, it’s pasta bordelaise, even though there’s not a drop of red Bordeaux in it. We eat it as a side dish to all sorts of things, from stuffed crabs to panneed veal. We also make a batch of it around our house when nobody has a strong idea what they want to eat. During the years before our children left home, “garlicky pasta” (our name for the dish) was without question the most popular dish at the Cool Water Ranch. The four of us shared a love for a lot of garlic, even when the kids were little.
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4-8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 sprigs parsley, leaves only, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. salt
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil with a tablespoon of salt dissolved in it. Cook the pasta for about four minutes, leaving it “al dente”–firm to the tooth. Drain the pasta, but save about 1/4 cup of the water.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until it shimmers. Add the other ingredients except the pasta and cook until the garlic smells good.
3. Add the reserved water from the pasta pot (3 or 4 Tbs.) and whisk to blend.
4. Turn the heat off and add the pasta, tossing it with a fork to coat with the sauce.
5. Divide among the plates and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, or Grana Padano.
Serves four main courses or eight sides.