From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Pasta Quick and Easy
Nothing sounds easier than pasta with olive oil and garlic, but too often this dish turns out oily or rife with burnt garlic. We were after a flawless version of this quick classic, with bright, deep garlic flavor and no trace of bitterness or harshness. For a mellow flavor, we cooked most of the garlic over low heat until sticky and straw-colored; a modest amount of raw garlic added at the end brought in some potent fresh garlic flavor. Extra-virgin olive oil and reserved pasta cooking water helped to keep our garlic and pasta saucy. A splash of lemon juice and sprinkling of red pepper flakes added some spice and brightness to this simple, yet complex-flavored recipe.
Serves 4 to 6
For a twist on pasta with garlic and oil, try sprinkling toasted bread crumbs over individual bowls, but prepare them before proceeding with the pasta recipe. We like Maldon sea salt flakes for this dish, but ordinary table salt is fine as well.