Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper Flakes

From Giada De Laurentiis; Everyday Italian

1 pound dried spaghetti
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. The reserved pasta water will help create the sauce. Do not rinse pasta with water -- you want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will stick.
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. It's important not too burn the garlic or else it will become bitter. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the browned garlic. Add the red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Carefully add the reserved pasta water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Immediately add the drained spaghetti and toss for 1 minute to coat well. Season with more salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle with parsley, basil, and mint; serve.

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