My Italian side

My grandfather is Italian and owned an Italian restaurant, and my mother inherited his cooking genes, so you can imagine the wonderful food I ate growing up.  Every once in awhile (probably more times than not), my Italian side comes out.  One of my favorite things to make and eat is “Spaghetti Aglio e Olio,” or Spaghetti with garlic, chili and olive oil.  Served up with a spinach salad for contrast and a glass of white wine, it’s a delicious meal that’s quick and easy to make.


1 pound spaghetti (cooked and drained)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves (pressed or finely diced)

1 red chili (finely diced) Add more if you want to REALLY spice it up!

1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

1/2 cup water

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Fresh grated parmesan cheese


Boil the spaghetti in a pot until al-dente, rinse and drain.  Heat half of the olive oil (1/4 cup) in a deep skillet and add the garlic and red chili pepper and saute 2 minutes on high.  When the garlic starts to brown, add about 1/2 cup of water to begin the emulsification process.  Add the cooked pasta, parsley and the remaining olive oil.  Cook quickly, on high heat.  You want a lot of movement in the pan (stirring and tossing), this will help to activate the starch, and thicken your sauce.  Cook for 2 minutes and voila!  It’s ready to serve!

Place in a serving bowl and toss with salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste). Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese and fresh, chopped parsley.

Buon appetito!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See


2 thoughts on “My Italian side

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