I remember the first time I had Aglio Olio I don’t have a very good experience. The pasta dish was swimming in oil and I have to return it back to the kitchen. I never order this pasta dish from the restaurants again. I prefer to cook it myself as I can control the amount of oil I put in there.
Aglio Olio means stir-fry with “Garlic and Oil” in Italian, and one of the simplest pasta dishes that you can whip up with very few ingredients like good quality olive oil, garlic and lots of black pepper. My sister Elizabeth is not a fan of pasta with loads of cream or sauce so this is her favorite. I cooked this for our lunch and added some mushroom to it.
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
A few pinch of dried red-pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used white button mushrooms)
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 packet of spaghetti
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 98-9 minutes. Reserve a few tbsp of the pasta water.
2. In the meantime, heat up a frying pan. Add in olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped garlic, cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, fragrant and lightly brown. Dish out half of it and reserve it for garnish later.
3. Add the sliced mushrooms and the salt and cook until the mushrooms exude liquid, the liquid evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 6 minutes.
4. Drain the pasta and toss it into the mushroom mixture together with the, chili flakes, chopped parsley and the pepper. Drizzle in a 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water and mix well.
5. Turn off the heat and lastly add in the butter and toss well. Garnish it with the reserve fried garlic and serve immediately.
Note: For slightly creamier pasta, I will omit the pasta water and add a few tbsp of milk and a tbsp of grated parmesan to it.