Want to get dinner ready in ten minutes? Well, here’s what you can make. This delicious and nutty spaghetti Aglio e Olio with blistered cherry tomatoes, basil, and toasted walnuts is a treasure trove of flavor. It is a recipe I make so very often, especially on days when I have zero energy or willingness to make something elaborate.
This is my take on the classic Aglio e Olio pasta of Italy. The original Aglio e Olio relies on just three ingredients – chili, garlic, and olive oil. It is one of the simplest and most divine dishes popular all over the world. This is my take on the same classic with some extra additions that I think adds a glistening and delicious touch to the classic.
The number of ingredients in this recipe is minimal. And once you have your spaghetti cooked, all you need is ten minutes to whip this up. Flavor-wise, this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is on point! If you are new to pasta making, this is a perfect way to start as it is one of the easiest pasta recipes.
The cherry tomatoes add a certain level of sweetness to the pasta. And they need to be cooked just before they pop open and release their juices. This way, each bite remains wholesome in terms of flavor. And just look at that color these tomatoes add to the recipe – beautiful! And the walnuts are toasted with a lot of love and patience in the garlic-infused olive oil, which elevates its taste to a whole new level.
TIPS TO GET THE PERFECT PLATE OF PASTA EVERY SINGLE TIME
1. Cook spaghetti as per package instructions till al dente
There is no universal rule to cook pasta right, it varies as per the product you are using. So make sure you follow the instructions in your package and cook the pasta in hot boiling water. The most common way is to cook the pasta till al dente (almost cooked, but not completely cooked) and then drain it. Do not keep your cooked pasta waiting too long before you add it to your sauce. For best results, boiling the pasta and making the sauce should be carried out simultaneously. In this case, since making the sauce barely takes five minutes, you will have to cook the pasta just before you start making the sauce.
2. Add salt to pasta water
This little hack will elevate the level of your pasta from average to excellent! There is no bigger heartbreak than biting into pasta that has all the flavours in the sauce, but really a bland bite in those spaghetti strands. Sounds like a nightmare to me! It’s important to add a lot of salt to the water in which you boil the pasta because you do not want your spaghetti to be bland. In order for the spaghetti strands to absorb the flavour of the salt, it needs to cook in water that is almost as saline as sea water. This is because it does not absorb all of it, but just enough to flavour the spaghetti throughout. Adding salt in the water you boil the spaghetti in is the only time you will flavour the spaghetti so this step cannot be missed.
3. Pasta water makes all the difference
Have you ever wondered how restaurants get that perfect glaze over every strand of spaghetti that you order? While olive oil and butter play a major role, chefs also add a magic potion in the end while tossing the pasta. It’s the reserved pasta water. Reserved pasta water is nothing but the water in which you boil your pasta. This pasta water absorbs a lot of starch from the dry pasta and the addition of salt in it also helps flavour the final pasta sauce. So make sure you save two to three ladles of that starchy, saline and boiling pasta water to add that extra dose of magic to your dish.
4. Keep flame at low for the sauce
The sauce for the lemon butter garlic pasta is super basic and uses just a few ingredients. To get the most out of the sauce, it’s important to cook it at optimal temperatures. The flame should be kept at low throughout the process of making the pasta sauce as it’s very easy to burn the subtle ingredients or the oil. The flavour of the garlic needs to get infused into the butter gradually. The sauce is cooked till it turns a little brown and toasty, without any hint of burn. That’s when you know you have the perfect browned butter sauce with garlic and lime.
5. Adding salt to the pasta water
This is such a crucial step for a good plate of pasta. You do not want the sauce to have all the seasoning correct, and the actual spaghetti strands to be bland!
The reason why you need to boil pasta in salty water is that that’s the only time you are going to actually season the pasta. The spaghetti needs to have its own flavour too, and adding salt during the boiling process can give that elevated feel to your recipe.
So without further ado, here goes the recipe for the perfect spaghetti Aglio e Olio. I hope you try it soon!