Published March 1, 1999.
Finely pressed or minced garlic is the key to a flavorful pasta sauce that can be varied to create quick meals.
This pantry sauce, which Italians call aglio e olio, garlic and oil, sounds simple, but that doesn't make it easy? How much garlic is right for a pound of pasta, and how should it be prepared and/or cooked to keep it from burning? How much oil will coat a pound of pasta? Is extra-virgin oil necessary?
If you have garlic and olive oil on hand, you have the makings of a basic sauce for pasta; we wanted to come up with a recipe of perfect proportions that would create a sauce of balanced flavors quickly and easily.
Use 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (pure olive oil was deemed too bland) for 1 pound of spaghetti. Use four medium cloves of garlic to deliver enough flavor without overwhelming the pasta. Pass the garlic through a garlic press and dilute in a little bit of water to guarantee even distribution and to prevent burning. Heat the pasta bowls in a 200-degree oven for 20 minutes to keep the pasta warm, right down to the last noodle.list of recipes