A technique article on SeriousEats.com for preparing spaghetti aglio e olio prompted me the other night to prepare it for a late-night supper.
I’ve made this dish numerous times, but the article included an interesting video that demonstrated a technique for “finishing the pasta the right way” that made me rethink my own. What struck me most in the video was the cook’s rapidly swirling and tossing of the pasta in the sauce after adding the pasta water, which resulted in a beautiful emulsion.
When I prepared my version, I didn’t add as much water as was used in the video. In fact, I followed the direction of the article’s recipe, which called for just “a few tablespoons” of water.
I must say that focusing on the emulsification of pasta water and oil really made a difference and resulted in a creamier sauce.
I always add the garlic and peperoncino to the pan before heating. You’ll also see a splash of balsamic vinegar, which adds a nice touch of acidity to the final dish.
I simmer the sauce over a low flame for at least 10 minutes to extract as much flavor from the garlic without coloring it too much.
I should have taken a photo of swirling the pasta, but settled for a close-up of it plated.
This is one pasta that, in my opinion, is best on its own, without cheese.
Wine Pairing: Gavi di Gavi, Sauvignon Blanc, Processo