Spicy Garlic and Parmesan Pasta
This is Spicy Garlic and Parmesan Pasta is one of the easiest pasta dishes you could ever make but seriously one of my all time favorites. Something magical happens with the combination of crushed red pepper flakes, basil, and fresh chopped garlic mixed with olive oil and then gently heated. And then when you add that salty, nutty parmesan cheese to the mix it’s just out of this world delicious. A combination made in culinary heaven. Best of all it’s fast and inexpensive! Which makes it a perfect dish for my Dorm Room Dishes segment on KCRA3. Other favorites include Tuna Fish 3 ways, BLT sandwiches made with leftover bacon from the dining hall breakfast, and No-Bake Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Bars with a Nutella topping.
What do college kids crave more after a late night of ‘studying’? Something really satisfying and hot and delicious. Typically that might mean a call to the local pizza shop for late night delivery but this is so much better and less expensive. Parents out there….a small sauce pan and a pot for cooking pasta would make a great graduation gift:)
And for those of you not in college you can make this for an easy weeknight meal or side dish – just double the amounts of all ingredients for 1 lb of pasta that will serve 4-6 adults. To amp it up a bit sometimes I like to add some pancetta to the dish (sauté until crisp and then add at the end). Or a few mini-heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil.
Here’s a glimpse at the few simple ingredients it takes to pull this together:
- 8 oz linguine pasta (1/2 a box)
- ¾ teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 large cloves garlic, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for top
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Add a good 1/2 Tablespoon of kosher salt to a large pot water and bring to a simmer (small bubbles). Drop in the pasta and cook according to the box until al dente (not mushy but still a little bite to it). Scoop out ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat (not high). Add in the olive oil and reduce to low. Then add in the chili flakes and dried basil and stir around. Next add the garlic and cook for up to 1 minute, stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon so the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and immediately toss the mixture with the hot pasta. Add in the parmesan cheese a little at a time as you mix with tongs (or it will clump) and add salt, mix some more, and taste. If the pasta looks dry add the reserved cooking liquid. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and serve immediately.