This super simple recipe for Pasta with Garlic and Cheese is almost not a recipe! It’s kind of like a deconstructed pesto, using parsley instead of basil.
Of course, you can use basil if you’d like. I wouldn’t recommend using this amount of oregano or thyme because that would simply overwhelm the dish. But lots of basil is delicious.
Whenever you cook pasta, it’s important to have enough water. For a one-pound box of pasta, at least four quarts of water is needed. The pasta needs to be able to move freely within the pot so it doesn’t stick together and so all of the noodles rehydrate evenly and at the same time.
It’s also important to cook the pasta to “al dente”. This is a term Italians use to describe perfectly cooked pasta. It is tender but firm, with a slight bite. When you bite into the pasta and look at the center, there shouldn’t be any white left, but there should be a shading to opaque in the middle of the strand.
This recipe has to be served immediately when it’s cooked. To make it even better, heat the plates in the oven before you add the pasta (be sure to use oven-safe plates!). Have the wine poured before you toss the pasta with the garlic mixture, and have a nice green salad on the table ready and waiting for you. The garlic toast should be in a napkin in a basket. Put the pasta on a heated serving plate and dig in.
- 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti pasta
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a handful of salt to season the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the pot and stir. Cook the pasta according to package directions, stirring frequently, until al dente (to the tooth), which means the pasta is tender but still firm.
- Chop the garlic and parsley.
- Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is fragrant. Combine the garlic and oil with the parsley and salt and pepper in serving bowl.
- Drain the pasta once it is done and immediately toss with the garlic/parsley mixture. Top with cheese and toss again. Serve immediately with more cheese, if desired.