Spaghetti aglio e olio aka Spaghetti with Garlic and oil is an old Italian dish that originated in Napoli (Naples). In a traditional Italian meal it is one of the dishes that would be found in the Primo course. That is the course before the Secondo or main course. Well the world kept on turning and after a while the Primo course, which besides pasta might be Risotto or soup, started to become acceptable as a Contorno- or side dish- to the main course. But, never on the same plate. Well, in this day and age some people, me included, are prone to serve the pasta or risotto right on the same plate with the meat or fish main course like it appears in this post next to the Shrimp with Sun Dried Tomato sauce.
Put a pot of water on at high for the spaghetti. When it comes to the size of the pot for the spaghetti you are better erring on the too big than too little. Salt the water just a little more than your your gut says to. When the water starts to boil cut the heat back to medium high and add the spaghetti. Kinda gently fold it in as the ends that are in the water get soft until you have it all under water. I use a pair of tongs and grab it and swirl it. Swirl it regularly as it cooks. Chop or slice-it’s up to you-6 good sized cloves of garlic. Put a pan on at medium low heat with about 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and as soon as the garlic starts to bubble add the parsley. A pinch of red pepper flakes if you want. Cut the heat back a little. You don’t want the garlic to turn brown, only soft and translucent.
I bought this pan set 5 years ago and am still using it every day. It’s the best I have ever worked with. It’s very easy to use and clean.
When the Spaghetti is just a little more firm then al dente add it to the pan. Don’t strain the spaghetti just use the tongs to transfer it without worrying about getting some of the pasta water in the pan. In fact add a tbsp. or 2 of the pasta water to the pan. It’ll thicken the oil a little. Add the parmesan cheese.
Toss it all together and let the spaghetti finish cooking. It should take about minute or 2 to get as done as YOU want it. Toss it a few more times along the way.