Aglio e Olio (With A Twist!)
What you’ll need…
3 tablespoons garlic confit and its oil
2 teaspoons crushed Calabrian chilies, divided
¼ cup parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
~¼ cup pasta water
Laudemio Frescobaldi or other high-quality olive oil, for finishing
Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
For the garlic confit…
In small saucepan, submerge ~1-2 cups of peeled garlic (~3-6 heads) in a good cooking extra-virgin olive oil. Simmer over low heat until cloves become very tender and lightly colored, about 20-30 minutes. Occasional small bubbles on the surface of the oil is what you’re looking for; keep an eye on the heat to avoid deep-frying! Cool and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
For the sauce…
Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, mash the confit, its oil, and a pinch of salt into a smooth paste with a spatula (add additional garlic oil if needed; it should coat the pan). Turn the heat to low and add half of the Calabrian chilies. Whisk to combine.
Add pasta to the water and, while it cooks, transfer ¼ cup pasta water to the skillet with the sauce. Whisk vigorously to combine and return the heat to medium. Transfer the pasta directly to the pan and add the parmesan and remaining chilies. Toss to coat so the cheese melts and the chilies are evenly dispersed. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with a generous drizzle of finishing olive oil for added richness and spice, Italian parsley, and an extra dusting of parmesan. Buon appetito!