Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ina Garten's Spaghetti Aglio E Olio with Shrimp & Garden Fresh Tomatoes

I'm not sure what's going on in my head, but it has been hounding me with a pounding headache that won't go away. My guess is, it's work-stress related, or I'm fighting off a cold. Sigh. I had all kinds of weekend plans to get into the pre-fall baking mode-- I'm long overdue to bake bread.   It was not to be, as I spent most of the afternoon in a supine position, trying to relax.  But my stomach reminded me that it was hungry.

Headache or not,  I need to eat and my sweet husband has very limited culinary skills  (with the exception of his Weber grilling skills-- and he rocks with that). So, when I want to make something fast, it's usually pasta. I always have pasta on hand, and so I decided to make Ina Garten's Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, from her cookbook "How Easy Is That?"

 Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is "spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chili peppers"and is sometimes called "Midnight Pasta".  The odds are, you have everything on hand to make this.

You'll need eight cloves of sliced garlic. The garlic will be slowly, and carefully, sauteed in olive oil, and it will become sweet and flavorful.

You'll need fresh Italian parsley and some red pepper flakes, too.

Begin by bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook one pound of spaghetti, according to package directions.
In another deep pan, heat 1/3 cup of "good" olive oil  on medium high.  Add the sliced  garlic cloves and very lightly saute until very lightly golden. Add red pepper flakes-- I used about 1/2 teaspoon.

When the spaghetti is cooked, save 1-1/2 cups of the pasta water.  How many times have I forgotten to do this?  For insurance, I usually set a cup in the strainer, as a reminder.

This is totally my afterthought--  we have a lot of home grown tomatoes, and I love their sweetness and color.  So, I asked my husband to pick some.

 In my freezer, I had some wild shrimp, already deveined, so I gave them a quick thaw, with water.  Why not add those two ingredients, so we can have a little extra protein?

Cooking shrimp is super easy, as low as you don't overcook them-- or they will feel like rubber. In a separate pan, I heated a little olive oil then cooked the shrimp for a minute, or two, per side-- just until they turned pink.

I removed them from the pan, squeezed a little fresh lemon juice on top and set them aside.

I then added most of the tomatoes, and gave them a quick saute.

Okay, the garlic is tender (and sweet), so I add the reserved pasta water to the pan and bring it to a boil.   I didn't add extra salt, because I've seasoned the pasta well enough--and I'm going to be adding Parmesan cheese.
The liquid has reduced to about 1/3 (five minutes), and now I the drained pasta and begin tossing.

Now, add one cup of fresh Parmesan and fresh chopped Italian parsley.  Pretty.  On a whim, I added some lemon zest to the pasta, to complement the shrimp.

 Toss to combine;  then add the cooked shrimp-- which is totally optional.

Dinner, in under 30 minutes.  Italian food is my favorite fast food.

TASTING NOTES:  Yum. Mmmm. Delicious.  The garlic is sweet, and not overpowering.  This satisfies my need for food, and my husband loves it, as well. This is super fast, and easy fast dinner for those nights when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  Love this!  I think that, if you make this once, you really don't need a recipe. Super Easy,  Super Delicious!

How easy is that?!

Off to get a good night's rest-- Monday morning comes really fast.  A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of Internet Explorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here. If you still can't figure out how to view the printable recipe card, please email me at and I am happy to help.


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Valerie said...

Yum! I've yet to try Ina's savory recipes, and I think that needs to change!

Hope you're feeling back in baking mode soon!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

To borrow another Food Network chef's phrase, you've "kicked it up a notch." Love the addition of the shrimp and tomatoes and it's so pretty too.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Salsa Verde said...

Hi Debbie,
I love Ina Garten and her recipes and this pasta looks so mouth watering!!
Cheers and hope you have a fantastic week,

bellini said...

You can never go wrong with an Ina recipe. I sure hope the headache is gone and you're feeling yourself again.

Noelle Marie said...

I just watched inamake this. So simple. Looked yum. And to knock out a post with a headache? I'm impressed. Feel better for the week ahead!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'm grateful Ina didn't put any anchovies in her aglia olio. I have nightmares from many a Christmas Eve over that seemingly harmless spaghetti...

Joanne said...

pasta is always my go-to when I want a quick, fast meal! I love how fresh flavored this is. Hope your head feels better soon!

Christine said...

Love the cup in the strainer reminder, thank you! Debby, hope you're feeling better. A friend of mine taught 1st grade and beginning each school season, came down with something. But, she was immune to everything after that! Absolutely delicious looking and sounding recipe and do-able in 100+ temps!
Feel better!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

What a mouth watering pasta dish. I don't know how I would get along without Ina's wonderful cookbooks. Hope your headache goes away soon, Debby.

Karen said...

THIS is what we're having for dinner tonite! Thanks for a great recipe!

Megan's Cookin' said...

Ohhh, I love shrimp, I love pasta, I want this dish!!!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Do hope your headache has gone away - I'm sure this wonderful dish will help - simply delicious!
Mary x

Julie said...

yum, that Ina knows how to eat, doesn't she? Hope your head is feeling better soon.

Big Dude said...

Sorry you're ailing, but I have to believe this delicious meal helped you feel better.

Roz said...

I was raised with Spaghetti Aglio E Olio and find it so fascinating how the top chefs have been cooking 'cucina povera' food of the poor from Italy in the last 20 years. We just called it 'white' pasta' since we always serve it along with a marina/Bolognese sauce to offer a choice. Love, love, love this simple pasta recipe!