This is such a quick and easy dish with so few ingredients - I almost feel guilty for posting it as a "recipe". But since I've mentioned this to some of my friends, and they were curious as to how I make it, I figured it was blog-worthy. The key to making this (as well as any dish that has only a few ingredients) is to make sure you use high-quality ingredients. The quality of your olive oil and garlic will make a big impact as to how this turns out. I'm not a food snob, but I will say that you get what you pay for when it comes to olive oil. Also, you do not want to use that jarred minced garlic stuff (gross!). You want to use fresh garlic cloves here and either chop them up yourself or mash them through a garlic press. (I prefer the garlic press.) Season it to your liking with the red pepper flakes, and top it with as much cheese as you prefer. Leave out the olives if you don't like them. There's no exact formula to this - it's really a matter of cooking to your own tastes, which is what we should always do anyway!
Here's what you need:
- 6 to 8 oz. angel hair pasta (just estimate a little less than half out of a 16 oz. package)
- 1/3 c. good-quality, extra-virgin olive oil (You want the dark green stuff.)
- 4 fresh cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. (to your taste) crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp. black olive slices (*optional)
- Parmesan cheese
Prepare your pasta according to package directions, using salt in the cooking water as suggested. And remember, angel hair pasta does not need much time to cook - only about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and olives (if using). Cook over medium-low for about 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown - it will become bitter.
Drain your pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour the olive oil mixture over it and toss lightly to coat. If you think you need additional olive oil, (and you may depending on the type and quantity of pasta used), just drizzle on some more right out of the bottle. When plating each portion, sprinkle the tops with grated Parmesan cheese.
This recipe should serve 3. A quick, meatless meal - perfect with a Caesar salad! Enjoy!