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Quick Garlic Pasta with Olive Oil and Parmesan

Yield: 4 - 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
This easy pasta dish bursts with flavor, thanks to a quick-roasted garlic, olive oil and parmesan sauce. Fast enough for a weeknight, special enough for a party.

Ingredients

  • 20-25 cloves garlic, — peeled (1 large head)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil — plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 13 ounces dried whole wheat spaghetti 
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt — plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese — divided, plus additional for serving.
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Place garlic cloves in a small, ovenproof pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat evenly. Place pan in oven and roast until garlic is light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and cook pasta until al dente. When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 and 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking liquid for use later in the recipe. Drain remaining water, then set pasta aside, tossing it with a bit of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking.
  3. When garlic has finished roasting, transfer the cloves and any oil left in the pan to a food processor or blender. Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan, then pulse a few times to combine. With the food processor or blender running, slowly pour in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and blend until mostly smooth.
  4. Heat a skillet large enough to hold the pasta over medium. Add the garlic –olive oil mixture and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and add remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, until reduced by about 1/3.
  5. Add reserved pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Remove pan from heat, add remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and parsley, then toss well. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so that the noodles absorb the sauce. Serve warm topped with additional Parmesan.

Recipe Notes

Time-saving tips: To quickly peel garlic, separate the cloves, leaving the peels on. Place clove on a cutting board, lay the flat side of a chef’s on top of the clove, then carefully hit the flat side of your knife with your hand. The pressure will loosen the skin, making it easy to peel away. Do not worry if you partially crust the garlic. To quickly grate Parmesan: Cut the wedge of cheese into large chunks, then place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times until grated.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Pasta Recipe, Quick Garlic Pasta with Olive Oil and Parmesan

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