Spaghetti Aglio-Olio Peperoncino, Spaghetti with garlic, oil and hot peppers

Spaghetti Aglio-Olio Peperoncino / Spaghetti with garlic, oil and hot peppers

SERVINGS: 6

Simplicity and ease of approach are the keys to good spaghetti, plus well-crafted pasta. For the following recipe, select artisanal pasta made the old-fashioned way using bronze dies and slow drying that produce a pleasantly textured surface with a nutty flavor and wheaty aroma.

Ingredients

4-6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

½ cup top-quality extra virgin olive oil, such as Badia a Colitbuono

Sea salt to taste

1 pound Benedetto Cavalieri spaghettoni

3-4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (optional)

1 small dried hot red chili pepper, crumbled, or ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste

½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

In large pot, bring 5-6 quarts of water to boil.

In large enough pan to hold all the drained pasta, gently saute garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until garlic starts to turn golden. Do not brown.

Add salt (1 tablespoon or to taste) to vigorously boiling water. Add spaghettine and stir.

If using anchovies, add them to oil and garlic. Cook briefly, mashing anchovy pieces into oil with fork. Stir in chili pepper and half the parsley, and carefully add a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. Let simmer and reduce slightly while pasta finishes cooking.

Start testing pasta after it has cooked for 5 minutes. When it is still a little chewy in the center, drain and add it to pan with sauce. Turn heat up slightly, and cook, mixing pasta and sauce together well for 1 to 2 minutes, or until pasta is done to taste. Turn pasta into preheated serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining minced parsley, and serve immediately.

Adapted from: "From Italy, the Truth About Pasta" by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, The New York Times, Sept. 17, 1997

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