It really doesn’t get much simpler than this recipe. I usually have all these ingredients at home (except for maybe the basil). If I don’t want to go to the store, and I’m feeling like a simple yet tasty meal, this is a good bet. The active time involved is only about twenty minutes. You’ll also need to allow at least thirty minutes for the olive-oil and basil mixture to sit.
Once you start sautéing the garlic and crushed red pepper, the smell is divine. It’s going to be spicy, but my kids were able to bear it and finished off their plates.
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup of olive oil, plus 2 tbsp.
- a good handful of fresh basil leaves
- 16 oz. box of spaghetti
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper, or crushed red pepper
- 4 oz. Pecorino cheese, freshly grated
- salt to taste and 4 rounds of freshly ground pepper
At least 30 minutes prior to cooking the pasta, mix 1/2 cup olive oil, basil, and a pinch of salt in the food processor or chopper until the basil is minced and mixed through. You want the basil to be minced well, but not emulsified. Set aside and let the oil soak up all the flavor from the basil.
Cook the spaghetti in well-salted water. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil under medium-high heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until the garlic is golden (not brown), about 3 minutes. Turn heat off and set the skillet aside.
Once the pasta is slightly less than al dente, drain the pasta water, while retaining a 1/4 cup for the sauce. Add pasta to the skillet with the garlic, along with the pasta water, and turn heat to medium-high. Add the basil and olive-oil mixture to the pasta and mix through using tongs. Next, add the Pecorino, fresh black pepper, and salt to taste. Continue to toss and mix well. Once the pasta is al dente, it’s done. This last step only takes a few minutes.