On any given night at our house, my daughter will request this, a spicy, garlicy pasta that she adores. To say her adoration of this dish defies all odds is putting it mildly; this is a girl for whom mac and cheese on a day in, day out basis poses no problems. It’s perfect for days when she hasn’t really eaten much, primarily because I can feel she’s getting her fill, what with the omega-3 fortified pasta, the antioxidants found in the parsley and the garlic, and the healthy fat provided by the olive oil.
My Gonzo husband and I were first introduced to this dish five or six years ago, when friends had us over for an impromptu dinner. We loved it so much it became a weekly mainstay on our workaday menu, way before Gonzo Girl came along. (We even called it Xavi pasta, in honor of our friend.) Then one night, when little GG was just starting to embrace solid foods, she leaned out of her highchair for a bite and was instantly hooked. Today the name of the pasta has changed, but the fabulousness of it hasn’t.
And so here, in all it’s salty spicy glory, is one of the Gonzo Gourmet’s go-to basics.
Gluten-free update: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta in this recipe.
Pasta with Garlic & Parsley
This is a fun weeknight dish that will introduce vegetable-phobic kids to a green - parsley. The garlic can be adjusted up or down, depending on preference.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- ¾ cup chopped parsley (about one large bunch or two organic bunches)
- 4-5 cloves crushed garlic
- 10 oz. regular or gluten-free spaghetti
- Boil water, plus a hearty dash of salt, in a large pot. Once the water is good and boiling, toss in the pasta and begin the sauce.
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the olive oil.
- When the oil is hot it will move like water in the skillet; now add the crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the parsley and the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the parsley.
- Once the pasta is done, drain and add to the parsley sauce.
- Serve immediately. Pass with fresh Parmigiano cheese and salt.