An easy recipe to make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Spaghetti cooked in One Pot One Shot method and served with a basic but (the most) flavorful pasta sauce made with garlic (aglio) and oil (olio). Have you seen the 2014 movie Chef? It is among my Top 5 most favorite and watched movies. Even as a vegetarian I swooned over the magnificent and art fully constructed Cuban sandwiches the Chef makes in his Food Truck. But, if there is one ultimate scene which is no less than “Food Porn” it is the scene in which Jon Favreau puts together the Aglio e Olio for Scarlett Johansson. Oh my ! If you haven’t watched, here is the scene that I am talking about –
Aglio e Olio is the most basic pasta sauce made with just two building blocks – Aglio, Garlic and Olio, Olive Oil. Yes, you don’t even need cheese to make this. If you have spaghetti, garlic, salt, and oil, you can make this pasta right away ! This is my daughter’s all time favorite pasta. Here is how I make the Spagetti Aglio e Olio –
First I like to infuse the Olive oil with the intense flavors from Garlic. Mince away garlic pods finely using a sharp knife. I am using roughly 1.5 tablespoons of minced garlic here. Next, in a pan add 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil. A note on the oil. To the cold oil, add the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of chili flakes and 1 teaspoon of mixed italian seasoning. Now, the reason I like to add these spices to the cold oil is because it results in better infusion of flavors. Now, gently heat the spiced oil on low flame. Let the flavors engulf your kitchen. Olive oil has a very low smoking point making it unsuitable for long periods of heating or deep frying. So, we will cook spices in oil just until you see the garlic sizzling and taking on a light brown color. Switch off and let the spices rest in the oil.
As you will see from video, the chef uses insane amount of of oil. The pasta is literally swimming in Olive Oil. Even though Olive Oil is considered “healthy” it is still “fat”. So, if you are watching your weight, then this pasta can be your cheat meal 🙂 What’s life without eating a little pasta…huh ! atleast that is what I tell myself ! Now onto cooking the spaghetti. Contrary to the “traditional” method, I cook my pasta using the One Pot One Shot method in a Pressure Cooker. Sounds like a sacrilege? I find it super convenient as it is unsupervised cooking, saving a gallon of water and gas. Now, like Julia Child says, “with the courage of your conviction”, pull out that 2 liter pressure pan, and add 150 grams of dry spaghetti. I broke the spaghetti into half to fit it into the pressure pan. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, just enough to coat the pasta. Add a teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover the spaghetti, plus 1/4 cup more. We want a little bit of a starchy water residue after cooking. This precious starchy water acts like a binding agent between the pasta and the spices.
Secure the lid of the cooker, fix the weight and cook on medium-high heat, which 900w in an induction for 5 whistles. Switch off and let the pressure settle. We need the spaghetti to be cooked “Al dente”. On opening, if you see the spaghetti clumped up a bit DO NOT freak out 🙂 Use chop sticks or fork and loosen out the pasta into individual strands. Now, add the Olive oil-spice mixture on the spaghetti and stir to combine. Chop sticks are my best friend to handle spaghetti.
And….that’s it. Pasta is ready to serve. Easy isn’t it? I like to garnish this pasta with cherry tomatoes and pitted olives to give it a fresh twist. Chopped parsley or coriander leaves also work very well. Roasted nuts, a generous sprinkling of Parmesan shavings….endless garnishing options.Use your creativity/taste and garnish per your preference.
Put on your favorite movie, hold this bowl of pasta and indulge away !!!