Due to the early success of our potted herbs, Alex and I have been excited by the challenge of using up our new bounty. Last week's tomato and chive quinoa was a huge hit, so this week we're turning our attention to another herb in our garden -- parsley. The following recipe is a classic. The limited ingredients and simple steps make this dish a go-to when you're short on time, but it's also delicious enough to serve up to friends and family while entertaining.
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Sea salt or kosher salt
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, 1/4 cup or more to taste, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to water once boiling.
- Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, approximately 9 minutes.
- Drain pasta, reserving one cup of pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute or until it sizzles.
- Add the red pepper flakes. Continue sautéing until the edges of the garlic just begin to brown, about two more minutes.
- Add reserved cup of pasta water and a pinch of sea salt. Continue cooking for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the drained pasta and parsley reserving one tablespoon of parsley.
- Toss until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid, about three minutes.
- Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of parsley as garnish and grate parmesan cheese over top of each serving to taste. Serve immediately. This dish serves 2-4 depending on appetite.
This recipe can be easily customized based on taste, and is a great way to use up other fresh herbs you have on hand or other ingredients in your refrigerator.
Over the Memorial Day holiday while staying at a friend's home on the Chesapeake Bay, I enhanced this recipe by leaving out the cheese, but adding fresh crab meat, cherry tomatoes, basil, and a hit of fresh lemon. The pasta was a completely different experience, and made for the perfect bayside meal.
Do you have a go-to pasta dish that's a favorite in your family? Maybe a simple, classic recipe that you like to change up depending on what's in season? I'd love to hear every mouth watering detail.