Spaghetti aglio e olio is about as primal a pasta dish as there is. This is easily the most popular spaghetti recipe in Italy, the comfort food equivalent to our "mac and cheese."
This recipe is by Food Wishes, a very simple step-by-step guide.
For the ingredients, you'll need: 1 pound dry spaghetti, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin, 1/2 cup olive oil (note: I prefer a regular olive oil for this recipe, as opposed to a strongly flavored extra virgin olive oil), 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste, 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (highly recommend Parmigiano-Reggiano) (It's not traditional, but for extra richness add 1 tablespoon of butter when you toss with the cheese).
Directions: First is bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a pasta bowl. Next is to combine garlic and olive oil in a cold skillet. Cook over medium heat to slowly toast garlic, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low when olive oil begins to bubble. Cook and stir until garlic is golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Then, stir red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt into the pasta. Pour in olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle on Italian parsley and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; stir until combined.
Serve pasta topped with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
The key is slowly toasting the garlic slices to a perfect golden-brown in the olive oil. If it's too light, you don't get the full flavor, and if it's too dark, it gets bitter. The author's advice? Do it perfectly. Enjoy!