College Cooking with Evan: Pasta Aglio e Olio
This week, we will begin a journey into the slightly malfunctioning kitchen of Harter Hall to discover how to cook your own food at college. And no, we’re not going to be just adding paprika to ramen so its “Middle Eastern,” this column will be focused on simple, easy and cheap recipes any beginner cook can make.
Each recipe will have minimal ingredients and instruction, and this recipe is no different. Pasta Aglio e Olio, an Italian dish that means “Oil and garlic pasta” sounds a lot cooler in Italian, so we’re going to keep it that way.
The dish only costs about $18 if you don’t already have the spices and olive oil, and about $11 dollars without the cost of pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Pasta Aglio e Olio is also a vegan dish!
The flavors of garlic, olive oil, lemon and pepper flakes all come through in the dish, both through the sauce and pasta. For such a simple dish, it certainly is worth more than the sum of its parts.
BE CAREFUL WITH THE OIL IN THE FRYING PAN! Be sure to not make the oil too hot, or it will start splashing back at you when you add the lemon juice, pasta and parsley. Once the garlic browns, you can take the heat off completely or leave it on the lowest setting if your kitchen stovetop is funky like mine.
If there are any steps in the recipe you aren’t sure how to do, YouTube is your best friend. All of the cooking skills I have are from YouTube. The recipe for this week is largely based on the one found on the YouTube channel “Binging with Babish,” whose “basics” series I highly suggest to any new cooks or people in college cooking on a budget.
Without further ado, here is this week’s recipe.
Makes 2-3 servings
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
A shake of red pepper flakes
1/2 pound linguine
Preparation – 10 minutes
Thinly slice the cloves of garlic to about dime’s width or smaller.
Finely chop the fresh parsley and measure 1/2 cup’s worth.
Boil a large pot of water and heavily salt.
Cooking – 15 minutes
Cook the 1/2 pound linguine in a large pot of boiling water while doing the steps below.
Heat the garlic slices and 1/2 cup olive oil in a frying pan, together, on medium high heat to a simmer. Stir constantly.
Add a shake or two of red pepper flakes. The more flakes the spicier, so if you want the meal to be more spicy, add about 1/2 teaspoon of them.
Once the garlic is browned and the pepper flakes are added, lower the heat to medium low.
Drain linguine and add to the frying pan.
Add 1/4 cup of pasta water to the mixture. You might think “pasta water? EW!” But actually, it makes the pasta a million times better, so trust me and add it in there.
Squeeze 1.5 lemons worth of lemon juice over the pasta.
Add in the parsley and mix together until everything in the pan has gotten to know each other.
If the mixture is too watery, continue to cook for a few minutes until the pasta has absorbed the water.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve. I also suggest a salt and pepper grinder over pre-ground salt and pepper, but either will do.