Aglio e Olio

No two recipes for Aglio e Olio (or my pronunciation of the dish) is the same. This is especially true while social distancing and shopping from your pantry. Here's the recipe from our first "Test Kitchen" episode of 2020, which happened to be shot just after the mayor instructed every Chicagoan to shelter in place. This picture was taken on my phone from my house!

(I need to brush up on my one handed cooking skills.)

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Anchovies and Bread Crumbs

Serves 4-6


8 garlic cloves, divided (half finely chopped, half thinly sliced)

5 ounces bread crumbs

Kosher salt

1/4 cup (or more) olive oil

3 tablespoon lemon flavored olive oil

4 oil-packed anchovy fillets

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 lb thin spaghetti, or any long pasta

2 - 4 ounces parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or big green can)

2 tsp dried parsley


Very thinly slice 4 garlic cloves (a mandoline works great) and set aside. Press the remaining 4 garlic cloves through a garlic press for finely chopped garlic.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook breadcrumbs and chopped garlic, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumb mixture with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.

Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil (lemon inflused) in same pot over medium-low. Cook reserved sliced garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden at edges, about 1 minute. Add anchovies and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until anchovies are dissolved, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about half the time of the package directions.

Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with sauce along with 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing often, until pasta is al dente. Add 3 Tbsp. pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add cheese, tossing until melted and emulsified. Remove from heat, add half of breadcrumb mixture and toss until combined. Season with salt.

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with remaining breadcrumb mixture and dried parsley.

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