Spaghetti aglio e olio (midnight spaghetti)

Disclaimer: I have never made this dish. I fell in love with it years ago at our then favorite Italian restaurant (which has now closed down- thanks New York City), and since then my husband makes it for me whenever I ask him to.


The other night we were up pretty late and You’ve got mail was on TV. As we were watching and it approached midnight, I realized I was hungry so of course my husband volunteered to make this for me. He explained that there’s a reason why they call this “midnight pasta”. I have to admit, there’s something really special about having this on the couch, served up in a small bowl rather than a dinner plate, at midnight while watching one of my favorite movies shot in New York- on the Upper West Side nonetheless.

recipe courtesy: Ina Garten


Kosher salt
1 pound dried spaghetti, such as DeCecco
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don’t overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.
Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

I will forever request this dish- because not only does he make it better than anyone else, but because every bite is full of love.



3 thoughts on “Spaghetti aglio e olio (midnight spaghetti)

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