I’ve mentioned before on the site, I judge a cookbook by the recipes that appear simple. If a recipe developer cannot nail a recipe light on ingredients, I lose trust in the rest. It’s a fine balance when you have only a few ingredients- each one plays an important roll and too much of one or not enough of another can ruin a dish. This spaghetti with parsley and garlic oil is a wonderful example of a recipe light on ingredients done right. The balance of the garlic oil with plenty of cheese and herbs- it’s such a hearty meal (especially with homemade spelt spaghetti!)
This spaghetti comes from Nicole Gulotta’s book: Eat this Poem. I’ve been lucky to know Nicole for a few years and watch the process she went through with this book. If you’re looking for summer reading, add this book to your list. It’s a book filled with recipes inspired by poetry and Nicole’s writing is beautiful. Her love and attention she gave this book really shines on every page. I don’t see her often but having her book makes me feel like I can have dinner with her.
An beautiful and easy pasta dish for weeknight dinners. Spaghetti recipe from the book, Eat this Poem.
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, left whole
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound spaghetti (see note)
- 1 cup chopped parsley (about 1 lunch)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup grated Vegetarian Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Warm the oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the garlic begins to sizzle and turn golden. Swirl it in the pan a few times before removing it from the stove to let it continue infusing.
If the garlic burns, begin again.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it liberally before sliding the pasta in. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Pour the pasta back into the pot and drizzle in the reserved oil, discarding the garlic cloves. Toss to combine. Add the parsley, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. If the pasta seems dry after adding the cheese, add the reserved cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss to coat. The spaghetti should glisten a bit, but it should not be dripping with oil. Serve with additional cheese grated on top, if desired.
Tips & Tricks: I made this with homemade spelt pasta and it was a wonderful, fresh meal.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: Pasta, Olive Oil, Parsley
Link: Recipe reprinted with permission from the book Eat this Poem.
When sharing recipes from books, I like to share the recipe, as is. The author puts work into testing it and making it just right- it feels like I’m doing the book a wrong if I were to change it. However, I’m not afraid to share a few variations I would love to try next!
Greens/Vegetables: Add wilted kale, chard, or spinach to the spelt spaghetti. I’m also a fan of roasting vegetables to top pasta like this. Zucchini, tomatoes, and/or eggplant are first up for me to try!
Vegan: You would get the same creaminess but I feel like with a good balance of oil and pasta water, you could make this vegan parmesan work!
Gluten-free: I’ve been experimenting more with gluten-free pasta but the queen of that is my friend Sarah. She has a beautiful whole-grain pasta that would be splendidly with this.