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


Step 1
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.

Step 2
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.

Step 3
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.

Step 4
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.

Step 5
Optional: Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to finish. Serve with more red-pepper flakes, black pepper and Parmesan. 

Artist, critic and a self proclaimed historian. I write about the this and thats, odds and ends, and etceteras of the art world.


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