Spaghetti “ajo e ojo”

According to The Classic Italian Cookbook” by Marcella Hazan, which my professor gifted to me last summer, spaghetti ajo e ojo (spaghetti with garlic and oil), is now a “universal favorite, especially among Rome’s chic insomniacs, who depend upon a wee hours’ spaghettata to see them through the night until their early-morning bedtime.” A great cookbook and introduction to Italian cooking, this recipe is easy-peasy but surprisingly pleasant and excellent for those nights that you are starving but without many ingredients. And pasta is usually better simple.

Instead of crushed garlic cloves that are sauteed and then removed, the book recommends  the garlic chopped and left in the oil for a fuller but milder taste, and no bitterness (summarized)

For 4 people:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of very finely chopped garlic
  • salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini (I used thin spaghetti, barilla style. classy!)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Boil a pot of water, and fan out the spaghetti. Note: do not break the spaghetti in half. I’ve been doing that for years, but supposedly it’s not good for the pasta. Make sure to add a bit of olive oil to the water and a bit of salt.
  2. While the pot is boiling, you can go ahead and add 1/2 a cup of olive oil to a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and a bit of salt and allow the flavors to simmer until the garlic is a golden brown (if it burns, it will not be tasty anymore!) Take it off the heat once the color is achieved.
  3. Drain pasta and put in a bowl; add the garlic/oil/salt combination on top. I actually added some fresh spinach and chopped tomatoes to the mix as well, in case you’d like to make this your entree as opposed to an “introduction to a second course.” Then add some ground pepper and parsley, as well as some extra olive oil if necessary, and toss together. No cheese, or extra salt, is really needed.
  4. Eat up

Megan, take notes. Can’t eat on campus forever!

I enjoyed this while double enjoying Glee. God, I love this show. We should get tickets to see them live, ha ha ha.


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