Prepare the Garlic Confit and Garlic Oil if you do not have any on hand, as follows (or follow the recipe here to make a larger batch): Place ½ cup whole garlic cloves in a small saucepan and pour in enough olive oil to completely cover them. Heat mixture over medium heat. Bring oil to the lightest simmer, then reduce heat to as low as possible. Continue to cook mixture over very low heat until garlic is very tender, but not falling apart. It should be only lightly browned. To test the garlic, pierce one clove with the tip of a sharp knife—it should meet with little to no resistance and be easily smashable. This could take about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. (You will likely have more oil than is needed for this recipe. Reserve additional for other use.) Prep and gather all remaining ingredients according to specifications above. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. (See NOTES below regarding timing.)(Please see the section above in the blog post for Step-By-Step instructions with photos.)
When the water comes to a boil, add salt, then the pasta, to the boiling water, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions, or about 2 minutes before you think it is al dente. Be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
1 pound spaghetti
Start sautéing the raw garlic at the same time that you add the pasta to the boiling water: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, raw garlic and crushed red pepper and slowly sauté together until the garlic begins to turn a light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will turn bitter.
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 10-12 garlic cloves,, ½ tsp crushed red pepper
Stir in half the parsley (¼ cup) and the smashed garlic confit cloves just to heat through.
½ cup Garlic Confit cloves
Add about ¾ cup pasta water to the garlic mixture, creating a sauce. Let it simmer lightly until the pasta is ready.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the garlic/parsley mixture, increase the heat to medium and toss well to help emulsify and thicken the sauce. Allow the pasta to finish cooking in the wonderful flavors of the sauce. Add more pasta water for additional moisture if needed.
Once the pasta is al dente, remove the pan from the heat. Then gently stir in the garlic oil, remaining ¼ cup parsley and butter, if including, until well-combined. Season with salt to taste.
2 Tbsp Garlic Oil, 2 Tbsp butter, To taste salt
Transfer to a platter and serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional). Buon Appetito!
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese,