Easy Italian comfort food: Spaghetti con aglio e olio d’oliva

Italian Comfort food: Spaghetti con aglio e olio d'oliva

Though my mother keeps telling me my family ancestry is rich in English and Irish culture, I believe deep in my soul I am Italian… or a least my stomach is. I favor Italian food. Real Italian food, not the Americanized version loaded with lots of cheese. I love how the cuisine uses seasonal ingredients and simple preparations, so the flavor of each ingredient introduces itself to your tongue.

This pasta dish hits the trifecta when it comes to cold-weather comfort food: carbs, fat and flavor! It’s easy to make and if you have a cold, it will clear your sinuses out if you’re generous with the garlic and red pepper flakes.

This dish is also super fast to prepare. If you need something quick to get on the table on a busy weeknight, this dish will have you saying “Mangiamo!” in no time.

What about you? What’s your favorite winter comfort food?

Spaghetti con aglio e olio d’oliva

Makes 1 hearty serving 

2 oz spaghetti, cooked in salted water according to package directions (I used whole wheat)

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced*

1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)*

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until garlic just starts to brown (and your kitchen starts to smell fantastic). Turn off heat and add pasta to the skillet, tossing with the oil mixture. Enjoy!

*Cooking notes: I like to make this recipe really garlic-y and spicy; you may want to adjust these down a little to suit your preference. Conversely, adjust the garlic up if you want to keep people, and vampires, away from you for a while.