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Home Cook: Vincent Scordo, Leonia, N.J., blogger at Scordo.com
"As a young chap, I lived with my grandparents in the typical 'Everyone Loves Raymond' environment; that is to say, my parents lived on the second floor apartment of a two family home while my grandparents occupied the first floor apartment. On most Saturday afternoons I would wander down to my grandparents' place and receive a boatful of kisses and the eternal question, “What do you want to eat for lunch?” And my answer would always be, 'Nonna, can I please have Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Parsley or Aglio e Olio?'
Pasta Alio e Olio, translated literally as pasta with garlic and oil, is still one of my favorites and I end up making it a few times a month and when I’m feeling particularly lazy once per week.
Recipe: Pasta with Parsley, Garlic, and Olive Oil or Alio e Olio
- ¼ – ½ pounds of linguine or linguine fini (ideal for this recipe, but you could improvise and use most any pasta shape)
- One bunch of finely chopped parsley
- 5-6 cloves, chopped finely
- ¼ cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- Bring a large pot of fresh water to boil and drop the pasta into the pot. Add a bit of salt and stir (linguine usually takes between 7-10 minutes, depending on brand).
- While the pasta cooks, add extra virgin olive oil to a medium sized pan along with the garlic and saute slowly. Add Kosher salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (slowly cook for another 2-5 minutes).
- Drain the pasta and save a bit of the starchy water. Add the pasta to the pan along with the parsley and mix well (at this point either add a bit more olive oil or some of the pasta water, I usually do both).
- Use kitchen tongues to work the condiment into the pasta. Finally, add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and mix one more time. Plate the pasta and add a little bit more cheese.
- The pasta dish is simple, classic, and real southern Italian comfort food.
Note: I find long pasta works best for this dish and I often use linguine, linguine fini, or spaghettini.