Pasta all’aglio e olio

Pasta all’aglio e olio (pasta with garlic and oil) is a simple, very tasty dish that can is quick and easy to prepare. The dish is originally from Naples where it is called maccarune aglio e uoglio and is traditionally served with spaghetti or linguine pasta.

This fine example of cucina povera is very simple to prepare and has very few ingredients, so it is worth paying attention to the quality of the basic ingredients used; as always, fresh,seasonal and local is best.

To prepare this dish, finely chop several cloves of garlic (I use from 1 to 3 per person depending on their size) and fry lightly in good quality olive oil. Use at least enough olive oil to cover the chopped garlic, and to ensure that each plate of pasta will be well covered in oil. Peperoncino (chilli) and salt are also commonly added.

Fry the garlic until it just starts to brown, then remove from heat and let it continue frying in the pan. Take care not to overcook or burn the garlic.

While traditionally served with spaghetti or linguine, no one is going to complain if you serve with any kind of pasta you have on hand. Drizzle the fried garlic and oil over the pasta, add some grated parmesan or pecorino cheese or similar, and optionally some fresh chopped herbs like parsley, thyme or oregano.