Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is….
…… both the most popular and the simplest to make Italian Pasta dish. It has it’s roots in Naples but has spread all over Italy and now the world.
The dish is made by lightly sautéing sliced, minced or pressed garlic in olive oil, sometimes with the addition of dried red chili flakes, and tossing with spaghetti or linguini.
Chopped parsley can also be added along with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.
Growing up in North Jersey I always heard it pronounced “allia-ool” due to the influence of Southern Italian pronunciation in the area. But when I spent a little time in Naples I got corrected by the locals, loudly and with glares for mis pronouncing their Aglio e Olio.
Put a pot of salted water on for the pasta. Add the pasta right away and as the water heats up and the pasta softens using a pair of tongs get it all down into the water and stir it a few times with the tongs as it cooks to keep it from sticking together.
Put a skillet on at medium high and add enough good extra virgin olive oil to coat bottom about 1/8″ deep. Cut the chicken into chunks or slices and add it to the skillet. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Also red pepper flakes if you want it a little spicy. Cook it until it is browned and firm.
While the chicken and the pasta are cooking slice or chop the garlic cloves and the parsley if you are using fresh parsley. But if you prefer, using dried parsley flakes works just fine.
When the chicken is done push it out to the sides of the skillet and put the garlic in the center. You’re going to want enough olive oil to thoroughly coat the pasta when you put in in so if the bottom of the skillet is dry from cooking the chicken then add some more extra virgin olive oil right on to the garlic.
You don’t want the garlic to turn brown so let’s have it just light golden and translucent – 2-3 minutes.
If the pasta is done before the garlic just drain all but about a half cup of the water and put it on the back of the stove. Drizzle a little olive oil and stir it getting the pasta covered with the oil so that it doesn’t stick together.
As soon as the garlic is ready add the pasta – with the little bit of water that you left in the pot – to the skillet. Put in the grated parmesan and the parsley holding a little back for garnish. Gently stir it all together.
You Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Chicken is ready. Bon Appetito!!!
And some good Chianti of course!