Chef Ali Slagle’s Midnight Pasta
Quick and easy, it is the ultimate midnight meal using a handful of ingredients. Recipe is yours to make so feel free to add whatever vegetables and proteins you’d like!
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 large head of garlic (or garlic paste/powder for a milder taste)
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 1 teaspoon if you want to roast your garlic)
- 1 cup firmly packed parsley leaves
- 1 pound spaghetti or other long pasta
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- Black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Slagle’s technique for roasting garlic: “Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top ¼ inch of the head of garlic to expose the top of the cloves, then place on a piece of foil, cut-side up. Sprinkle exposed cloves with salt, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast until soft and golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes.”
Another technique for roasting garlic is as follows: Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add your garlic cloves. Stir occasionally, for 3 to 7 minutes, just until the garlic turns golden. Immediately dump into a serving bowl (the garlic quickly turns from golden and sweet to brown and bitter).
Slagle calls for roasting the garlic to get its delicious flavour out but a good substitute for this can be garlic paste for a creamier texture or garlic powder for taste without the fuss.
For the pasta, boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Finely chop the parsley leaves. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Keep 1 cup of the pasta water aside while draining the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, in a large frying pan, heat the ½ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add your garlic. Add the red-pepper flakes and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat to infuse the oil while the pasta finishes cooking.
When the pasta’s done, heat the garlic oil over medium, then add the cooked pasta, ½ cup reserved pasta water and the parsley, and simmer, tossing constantly and adding more pasta water as needed, until the pasta is glossed with sauce.
Optional: Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to finish. Serve with more red-pepper flakes, black pepper and Parmesan.