For this dish, it’s all about having the right timing, so you’ll need to set yourself up well.
First, preheat your oven to the lowest setting. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. While the water is heating, émincé the garlic and measure out the chili flakes.
Place a large, non-stick skillet onto the stove top and add half of the oil, followed by the garlic and chili flakes. At this point, don’t turn the heat on. Just let this sit while the pasta water comes to a boil.
Once the water has come to a boil, add the salt and stir. With the water at a rumbling boil, add the pasta. Stir to make sure it doesn’t stick together.
While the pasta cooks, turn the heat to medium and let the garlic and chilies slowly cook. Spread the garlic out slightly so it cooks evenly, but be careful not to spread it out too much or it could easily burn. As soon as the garlic starts to sizzle and soften, remove it from the heat until the pasta finishes cooking.
Meanwhile, place the plates into the oven to warm up. Test the pasta (see Notes section below). Once it is just al-dente, reserve one half cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it directly to the pan.
Return the heat to medium and add the reserved cooking water, tossing to combine. Add a good pinch of salt and tear the basil leaves over top. Continue to toss and cook for a couple of minutes, until there is little to no water left in the pan. Once done, turn off the heat, add the remaining olive oil, some freshly-grated Parmingiano-Reggiano cheese and gently toss to combine.
Remove the warmed plates from the oven and portion out the pasta. Serve immediately with a touch more grated cheese and enjoy.
*Note: For plant-based, use a non-diary parmesan or omit from the recipe.
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt (1 tsp per L/qt of water)
- 200 g pasta
- 1/2 cup cooking water (from pasta)
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh Italian basil, to taste
- parmesan* (optional - to taste)*