3 quarts water, salt optional
1/2 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound strand pasta, such as spaghetti or spaghettini
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese


1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, with or without salt, over high heat.
2. Pour the oil into a large saute pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to let it turn brown and burn. Remove from the heat and add the salt, red pepper flakes, and half the parsley.
3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until tender. Drain well and return to the pot, add the sauce and the remaining parsley and cook over medium heat, tossing continuously to coat the pasta with the sauce, about 3 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat, add the cheese, and toss well to distribute the ingredients. Serve in heated bowls.

This classic pasta dish is deceptively simple; each step, says Nick Stellino, is like an equation in a math problem, and a misstep produces pasta in a puddle of oil. The last two steps are the most crucial, the goal being to coat each strand of pasta with the olive oil and distribute the other ingredients evenly throughout the dish.

Pasta with Garlic and Oil
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