Friday, 6 June 2008

Spaghetti aglio e olio with sundried tomatoes

There are tonnes of recipes for pasta in cookbooks, magazines and on the Internet. Pasta is a very popular dish around the world, partly because it is so versatile. Usually I tend to favour pasta with cream sauce but there are times when I feel like something lighter but still filling. That's when the classic dish of spaghetti aglio e olio really hits the spot.

Spaghetti aglio e olio is a dish seldom found on restaurant menus, because it is too simple and unimpressive. The name of the dish literally means spaghetti oil and garlic and that's all the essential ingredients. As with every simple recipe, this dish really relies on quality ingredients so make sure you use really good extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic. I had some sundried tomatoes to be used up and decided to add them to the dish too, giving it a summery twist that tasted pure Mediterranean. The spaghetti is slippery with fruity olive oil and thoroughly infused with garlic and sundried tomatoes. Extremely tasty especially if you love garlic. Another bonus with this dish (do you need another?) is that it is super quick to prepare, taking just as long as the pasta takes to cook.

Spaghetti aglio e olio with sundried tomatoes 1

Ingredients (serves 2):

Spaghetti, for 2 persons
1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
4-5 pieces of sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water until al dente.
2. When the pasta is a few minutes away from cooked, heat a large heavy based frying pan and add a good glug of oil. Over medium heat, gently fry the garlic, sundried tomatoes and chilli flakes until the garlic is lightly golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic otherwise it will turn bitter. Turn off the heat.
3. Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan with the chopped parsley. Mix well with the garlic and tomato oil. The heat from the freshly cooked spaghetti will help the pasta soak up all the flavours. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and tuck in!

Spaghetti aglio e olio with sundried tomatoes 2

There are always plenty of fabulous recipes on the Presto Pasta Nights weekly round up. My entry for this week could well be the simplest amongst them! This week's guest host for Presto Pasta Nights is Kevin from Closet Cooking.

Related articles:
Chicken and chorizo pasta
Prawn and pepperoni tagliatelle with lemon and chilli
Salmon and mushroom linguine in cream sauce


Happy cook said...

I make this pasta very often, but without the dry tomatoes, next time i will try with the dry tomatoes.
It looks delicious

VeggieGirl said...

I'm speechless - that pasta dish looks BEYOND amazing. Pasta is my comfort food of choice :0)

noble pig said...

This is my favorite way to eat pasta. I love the simplicity and the taste of these types of ingredients.

amarillo said...

Love garlic! Thanks for the idea, I haven't done this pasta in a while.

Kevin said...

It is too bad that restaurants do not serve "simple" pasta dishes like this as they are some of the best. I really like using sundried tomatoes in pasta and this sounds like a perfect sundried tomato pasta! Thanks for sharing it with Presto Pasta Nights!

Anonymous said...

another way to do this is omit the olive oil and used a smashed up avocado.

lastly i love to add just a little feta to this.

one of my favorite ways to make pasta

BigBear said...

It may be simple, but my GF "chiffOnade" would probably mess it up. And she is a italian immigrant.

Think I'll try it myself. I bet I can do it. Thanks for the idea.

Chuck said...

The simpler the better for me! I love easy to prepare pastas. I will definitely make this soon. Thanks!

didally said...

Spaghetti aglio e olio is everywhere now in Singapore. But home-made ones are still better. Adding some sun-dried tomatoes definitely lifts brings out the simplicity of this dish.

Nilmandra said...

Happy Cook: The sundried tomatoes add a lot of flavour, definitely worth trying. Make sure they have been reconstituted/soaked in oil though.

Veggiegirl: Aww thanks :)

Noble Pig: Also great when I'm starving for lunch with little food in the fridge!

Amarillo: Hope you get to cook this soon!

Kevin: Thanks! I've amended the Pesto Pasta Nights link.

Anonymous: Mmm avocado, not thought of that. Got to try it sometime, thanks for the tip.

Chuck: Thanks for visiting. I do love your website, hope to see some pasta dish up there soon!

Didally: I suppose spaghetti aglio e olio is considered somewhat 'exotic' and upmarket in Singapore? ;) I can't imagine paying $10-12 (not sure how much pasta would cost in restaurants these days!) for something so simple though!

noobcook said...

Aglio Olio is my fave! I like mine drenched in olive oil, hee. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes add a beautiful touch.

Nilmandra said...

Noobcook: Yeah, the quality (and ahem quantity ;) ) of extra virgin olive oil definitely makes all the difference in this dish.

Sara said...

yum, looks very tasty!

Ruth Daniels said...

The best dishes are the simplest ones. This one is wonderful. Thanks for sharing with Presto pasta Nights.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

The pasta looks delicious from where I'm standing. Love the fact that it's correctly dressed. I love this pasta: it's amazing how something so simple can be so perfect.

Nilmandra said...

Thanks, Sara!

Ruth Daniels: Always a pleasure to join in :)

Eatingclub Vancouver: Thanks, I'm glad you think so too!

Michelle said...

To save some time and add really great flavor, you can use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. That way you don't need to reconstitute the tomatoes before tossing them in, and you can use the oil that the tomatoes are jarred in in place of the olive oil to get maximum flavor. That's how I usually make this dish!

Nilmandra said...

Michelle: Yup that's the type I used, because I'm lazy heh ;) I love using the oil as salad dressing too.

Y said...

Love the simplicity of your pasta dish and that first photo is great.

Nilmandra said...

Y: Thanks, I like that first photo too. Sometimes pictures of food in preparation can turn out rather well, compared to the finished dish.

Anonymous said...

I'm the cook wannabe who always burned the garlic before I could pronounce "aglio el olio" so I've resigned to just having this dish when I eat out at restaurants that have them. Lately though I've discovered the wonders of store bought fried minced garlic and garlic flavored olive oil. I just toss them all together with salt, chili flakes, some chopped basil leaves and (thanks to your post) finely chopped sundried tomatoes while the pasta is hot. I let it sit for 5 minutes before devouring it.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorites especially with the sun-dried tomatoes. A local authentic Italian restaurant nearby also adds some chopped walnuts which add to the texture. Great simple recipe and excellent photo!

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