I thought it would be fitting to make my first post about my favorite go-to quick and easy dinner. Spaghetti a olio is a pasta dish from Italy that is known for its simplicity. In its purest form, it is just garlic, olive oil, and noodles. However, for my version today, I will include fresh parsley, red chili flakes, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, and smoked bacon. If you are looking for a quicker meal or do not eat pork, the bacon is optional, and the pasta will be still delicious, just skip steps 2 and 3 of the recipe.
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 2-3 strips of thick cut smoked bacon, diced (Optional)
- 5-7 peeled garlic cloves, sliced thin
- Pinch or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil (EV if you like the stronger flavor)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano highly recommended)
- The juice of about half a lemon (Also optional, but I believe it helps lighten the dish)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Start boiling well salted (A large pinch) water in a large pot.
- While the water is coming to a boil, start frying the bacon pieces over medium-high heat in a fairly large dry pan. Stirring occasionally until desired crispiness.
- Turn off heat and remove bacon bits from pan and safely discard oil or reserve as much as you like to have a stronger bacon flavor. (I like to use a paper towel to soak up the oil until there is about a table spoon left in the pan)
- Add pasta to boiling water and olive oil with sliced garlic to the pan (pasta and sauce should finish around the same time)
- Make sure the sliced Garlic is in a single layer and turn the heat on to medium-low.
- Once the edges of the garlic slices have started turning a light brown, turn off heat and add chili flakes.
- Add al dente pasta to the pan with about a 1/4 cup pasta water and stir
- Add chopped parsley, Parmesan cheese, and bacon bits, and squeeze lemon juice over pasta.
- Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy (careful with salt, I typically will not add any here due to the salt content of the Parmesan and bacon)