Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Tomatoes and Basil | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Tomatoes and Basil

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Tomatoes and Basil

25 minutes

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Tomatoes and Basil

Free

Classic Italian pasta aglio e olio, or pasta with garlic and oil, is made with those ingredients and little else. This version gets an infusion of bright color and fresh flavor from halved grape tomatoes and chopped basil (or parsley). We boil the pasta until just shy of al dente, then reserve about ¾ cup of the cooking water and drain. The noodles will finish cooking when returned to the pot along with the tomatoes and some of the cooking water. This technique allows the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce and become better integrated with it.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t forget to halve the tomatoes. It’s a bit time consuming, but worthwhile, so that the tomatoes soften slightly and relinquish some of their juice during the brief cooking time.

25 minutes

1 pound spaghetti
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil OR flat-leaf parsley
Finely grated Parmesan OR pecorino Romano cheese, to serve
Ingredients
  • 1

    pound spaghetti

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ½

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1

    pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • ½

    cup chopped fresh basil OR flat-leaf parsley

  • Finely grated Parmesan OR pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Tomatoes and Basil

Get Ready to Cook

4 to 6

Servings

25 minutes

Tip

Don’t forget to halve the tomatoes. It’s a bit time consuming, but worthwhile, so that the tomatoes soften slightly and relinquish some of their juice during the brief cooking time.

Ingredients
  • 1

    pound spaghetti

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ½

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1

    pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • ½

    cup chopped fresh basil OR flat-leaf parsley

  • Finely grated Parmesan OR pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

Step 1 of 2

Cook the Pasta

1
pound spaghetti

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente.


Reserve about ¾ cup of the cooking water, then drain.

Step 2 of 2

Cook Remaining Ingredients

cup extra-virgin olive oil
4
medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1
pint grape tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
½
cup chopped fresh basil OR flat-leaf parsley
Finely grated Parmesan OR pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

In the same pot over medium-low, combine the oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until garlic is light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.


Add the pasta, tomatoes, ½ cup reserved pasta water and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cook, tossing, until the pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes; add more reserved water as needed so the noodles are lightly sauced.


Off heat, toss in the basil, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

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OCTOBER 2021

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