Let me start this post off with my excitement of what this Thursday will bring.  It’s my Q&A day with Ina Garten!! I still need your help with a few questions to ask her – I’ll be sure to credit you in my write-up should I choose one of your questions.  I know from your comments that a lot of you are big fans so tell me what you’d ask her if you had the chance to chat with her. I need to hear back from you in the comments of this post by 5pm Eastern Wednesday August 18th…so fire away!

And now for this week’s new Ina recipe from How Easy Is That?…

Weeknight meals don’t get any easier than this spaghetti with garlic and olive oil dish!  The dish itself is one that I’ve been eating for most of my life which I talked about a few years ago, but the recipe is a new one for me.  And when I came across this classic in How Easy Is That?, I knew it was one that would soon make an appearance for dinner.  Ina doesn’t call for the roasted shrimp in the recipe but the spaghetti really needs some protein and since we’ve been roasting a lot of shrimp around here (more recipes soon), I decided to throw some in.  My parents traditionally served aglio e olio, as we simply called it (and pronounced it as ahhlyuh-oy-yuh), with Italian sausages or pork chops but you could serve just about any type of protein such as chicken or clams.

We both really enjoyed this meal though I probably would have loved it more if it had been hot when I ate it.  The life of a food blogger.  For such simple ingredients, the flavors really stood out and I was happy to see how this recipe didn’t include any butter, as my parents’ traditional recipe does.  You can bet we’ll be eating this again and I hope you’ll give it a try too!


Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
source: Ina Garten, How Easy Is That?

Kosher salt
1 lb dried spaghetti (Ina recommends: DeCecco)
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.  Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges – don’t overcook it!  Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more.  Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss.  Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan cheese and toss well.  Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed.  Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.


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Leave a Comment

  • August 17, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    So excited for you Tara!! I would ask Ina what led her to decide to quit her job at the White House to buy Barefoot Contessa?

  • August 17, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    That is so exciting that your Q&A is this week! I can’t wait to read about it!
    I would ask her what the inspiration behind her newest cookbook was? We all know she loves to entertain, but what is her all-time favorite meal for entertaining? What single piece of advice would she give a new cook looking to improve their skills in the kitchen? What is the one kitchen gadget/appliance she can’t live without?
    That’s all I’ve got! Good luck! 🙂

  • August 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    This looks wonderful! I love Ina and can’t wait to read all about your Q&A session. I’d love to know more about her childhood, as well as what inspired her to make such a drastic career change!

  • August 17, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    So exciting! I’m also excited to join BB come October. I would ask Ina who/what her inspirations are. And if there are any chefs she feels starstruck in front of?

  • August 20, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is wonderfully easy! I haven’t had it in awhile though. I love simple recipes like that though because it’s a nice reminder to my tastebuds that I don’t have to have something complex to taste delicious.

    I hope your Q&A with Ina went well! I can’t wait to see read about it. Also, I think it’s refreshing that she does not like cilantro… at all lol. I DO like cilantro, but it’s funny to think of a star cook not liking something haha.

    Take care!

  • foodlvr
    August 27, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    I adore Ina and have all her books. I look forward to this one. Wish I had seen this post last week or I would’ve given you some questions. Oh well. The recipe looks amazing, as expected. We adore Aglio e Olio on this house, I usually make the version from the Silver Palate. Thanks for passing it on and how was the interview?

  • Sara
    February 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Ina’s Alio Olio is to die! We have made it a few times and other than cutting back the salt to half a teaspoon vs one full tsp at the end, it is spectacular! It’s quick and easy, especially if you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go once the pasta goes in to the water.

  • tammy
    May 23, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I found this recipe in Ina’s cookbook “How Easy Is That?”

    I made it two nights in a row! Go easy on the chili flakes if you are not into the heat. I cannot wait to make it again with shrimp on the side and maybe using a different noodle. Truly so easy and so good!

  • Rae Gambardella
    September 1, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    What purpose does boiling garlic cloves before putting into a pan with cauliflower and roasting?

    PS I love your shows – I watch whenever I can.