When I was a college student living on my own years ago, one of my go-to quick dishes was spaghetti noodles stirred in with a little olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and rosemary.
It's still a favorite comforting side dish, though I've fancied it up a notch with the use of angel hair pasta (so quick!), more herbs than just rosemary, sliced garlic, some red pepper flakes, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
In this recipe we are using rosemary, oregano, and thyme, sturdy herbs that grow year round outside my kitchen window. You could easily use other herbs. If you use more delicate herbs like tarragon or basil, I would recommend not heating them in the oil, but tossing them in at the end with the Parmesan cheese.
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare boiling water for pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water).
Cook garlic and herbs:
While the water is heating in step 1, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the sliced garlic, chili pepper flakes, finely chopped herbs, and chopped parsley to the oil. Cook for one minute or until the parsley has wilted and the garlic is emitting a strong fragrance. Remove from heat.
Cook the pasta:
The angel hair past will cook in about 2 minutes once it starts, so get everything ready. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook at a rolling boil until al dente. Remove 1/2 a cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and rinse briefly with cold water, just enough to stop the cooking, but not so much as to make the pasta cold. The pasta should still be quite warm.
Combine pasta and herbs:
Place pasta in a large bowl. Pour herbed garlic sauce over the pasta and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper over the pasta and gently toss to combine. If the pasta is a little sticky, add back a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen.
Serve immediately as a side dish. Reheats well if you make ahead.