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Pasta with Garlic and Oil (Pasta Aglio e Olio)
By Charlie Burke

Click here for printer friendly Pasta with Garlic & Oil Recipe

Pasta with garlic and oil (Pasta Aglio e Olio)is perhaps the oldest Italian pasta
sauce, in which garlic and pepper infuse extra virgin olive oil with a
surprisingly subtle flavor, and variations of this most simple dressing are still
the most widely used throughout Italy. Depending on local preferences, other
herbs replace parsley, and varying amounts of black pepper or hot pepper seeds
are added. Aglio E Olio becomes the well known Marinara sauce when tomatoes
are added.

Now that our harvest of heirloom hard neck garlic is dried, I was eager to pair it
with our Italian parsley in this traditional pasta.  Paired with a simple salad of
heirloom tomatoes tossed only with sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive
oil, it made a light and authentic Italian dinner, showing once again how our
summer crops adapt perfectly to recipes from the Mediterranean region.

Four generous servings:

2 - 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
8 – 10 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley, stems removed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1 generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1 pound spaghetti, preferably imported semolina pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat olive oil in a small pan over low heat. When oil is warm, add chopped
garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until garlic is lightly
colored, then remove pan from the heat. Roughly chop parsley.

Cook spaghetti until al dente (taste after 6 minutes; do not rely on cooking
instructions which frequently result in over cooked pasta).

When pasta is just done, drain and return to pot. Pour the garlic and oil over
pasta, tossing well. Add parsley and serve immediately. Lesser serving sizes
make a fine first course, but we prefer it with a salad and a dry white wine as a
dinner. Feel free to substitute basil, rosemary or oregano as the Italians do for
interesting variations, but be advised that in Italy, cheese is never added to
Aglio E Olio.

About the author: An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice
president of the
New Hampshire Farmer'sMarket Association, president of the NH Farm to
Restaurant Connection and helps run the Sanbornton (NH) Farmers' Market.  Along
with his wife, Joanne, Charlie grows certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather
Hill Farm in Sanbornton, NH.  
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