Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Hey, this isn't a cooking blog!"
But here's the thing: Italy is all about food. Americans can be great at cooking too, obviously. But some of us tend to feel a bit intimidated when it comes to cooking Italian food for our Italian spouse/significant other/guests, because we haven't all grown up cooking the same legendary food in the same way as they have. So, understandably, you may be feeling some pressure when it's your turn to cook.
Don't worry, though, because today I am going to teach you how to make a dish that requires almost zero culinary know-how, but just may fool your lunch guests into thinking that you've been doing this whole Italian cooking thing for years.
(Seriously, if you know how to boil pasta and how to keep an eye on something on the stove for a couple minutes so it doesn't burn, you can make this dish, I promise.)
Spaghetti con Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino Recipe
- olio - olive oil
- aglio - garlic (however much is up to you, but one or two large-ish, individual cloves is usually plenty for two people)
- peperoncino – a spicy chili pepper (you can substitute this with red pepper flakes if you’re in a pinch. Or in America)
- a few cherry tomatoes, cut into small pieces
- spaghetti – 100 grams per person usually works out best
- salt (to taste)
- Start by putting some water in a pan to boil.
- While that’s warming up, get a deep pan and put some olive oil in it (don’t go crazy, but this will make up part of the “sauce” of the pasta, so don’t be stingy either. Coating the bottom of the pan should do).
- Slice your garlic into small pieces and put them in the oil, along with the peperoncino. Turn on the heat and start to saute them.
Note: Peperoncino can be VERY spicy, so if you’re sensitive to spice, don’t put too much!
- Cook the garlic, stirring often, until it has softened. Don’t take your eyes off of it though, as it burns fast!
- Add the cherry tomatoes (and a bit of salt, if you’d like) and cook until they are soft as well. Then turn off the heat and put the pan aside so the garlic doesn’t keep cooking.
- When the water is at a full rolling boil, add some salt (a couple teaspoons should do it), and the pasta. Cook as directed on the package.
- When the spaghetti reaches your desired level of doneness, drain it, leaving only a little bit of water in the pot to help create a creamier consistency for your finished dish.
- Add the spaghetti, the remaining bit of water, and the aglio, olio, peperoncino, and tomatoes together in the bigger of the two pans and toss, making sure all the spaghetti gets coated. Cook for another couple of minutes to turn the water to something more like a “cream” and to ensure the flavor really seeps into the pasta.
- Put on a plate, top with grated Parmesan cheese, and serve, bracing yourself for lots of compliments.
Have you made this dish yet? Do you know any tips and tricks or other recipes the rest of us could try? Let us know in the comments section!