Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, & Red Chile Pasta


I cannot even count the number of times we have made Aglio, Olio, & Peperoncino Pasta over the years. A simple pasta dish made with garlic, olive oil, and hot chili peppers, this easy pasta dish can be pulled together in mere minutes and tastes delicious. It has often become our go-to pasta when we need a quick meal we can throw together quickly, and the ingredients are always ones that I have in my pantry. I came across a variation from the New York Times using roasted garlic instead of fresh garlic, and I was intrigued. Although I often say do not mess with a good thing, I felt that roasting the garlic shouldn’t change things so much that the dish would be unrecognizable, so I gave it a try.

I had roasted garlic earlier in the week for another dish, so I already had roasted garlic on hand. When I am roasting garlic, I often roast up a few extra bulbs to use for future recipes. Not only is roasted garlic delicious slathered on crusty bread, or folded into mashed potatoes, the oil used to roast the garlic can be used in any recipe that you want to add a bit of nutty roasted garlic flavor to.

I was delighted with the resulting pasta dish made with roasted garlic in place of fresh garlic, although it has a much lighter garlic flavor. You can adjust the hot peppers depending on how much heat you prefer, and throwing in some chopped fresh parsley is always a good idea. The general rule in Italian cooking is that you do not add cheese to any pasta dishes that include seafood, hot peppers, or mushrooms. Still, I believe rules are meant to be broken, and I enjoy some grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese on this pasta.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2021

Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, & Red Chile Pasta

Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, & Red Chile Pasta

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Roasting garlic for the traditional pasta dish adds a nutty, sweet flavor that is addictive.

Ingredients

  • 2 Heads Of Garlic
  • Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 1 Pound Spaghetti
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • Black Pepper

Serving:

  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Cut the top 1/4 off of the garlic bulbs and place cut side up in a small, ovenproof dish.
    3. Sprinkle the bulbs with salt and drizzle with half the olive oil.
    4. Cover the dish with foil and roast for 40 to 45 minutes or until the garlic is golden and soft.
    5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
    6. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
    7. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
    8. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining oil.
    9. Squeeze the garlic bulbs into the warm oil, and use a fork to mash them.
    10. Reserve the oil from the garlic for another use.
    11. Add the red pepper flakes and black pepper to the pan.
    12. Once the pasta is cooked, use tongs to move the pasta from the pot to the skillet with the warm oil.
    13. Add half the reserved pasta water and the parsley, and toss the pasta over high heat until it is coated with the warm oil mixture, adding additional pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.
    14. Serve immediately offering the cheese at the table.

Notes

Adapted from New York Times Food.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g