Chef's Note: This New World version of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is as simple as the original, but it’s spiced-up with jalapeño peppers instead of red pepper flakes. As the jalapeños pan-fry, they become mellow, smoky, sweet; infusing the oil and the pasta with all their spunkiness.
A word of warning, make sure to test your jalapeños before you make this recipe (taste the tip of one pepper and it’ll give you an idea of its strength). I find most commercial jalapeños fairly mild, but now and then you come across some that are quite fiery!
- 1/3 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 6 to 8 jalapeños to taste – seeded and cut lengthwise in fine julienne strips
- 12 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon sea salt for the pasta water
- 1 lb (454gr) spaghetti
- 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Directions Step 1: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the jalapeños, toss well and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until the jalapeños are golden-brown at the edges, tossing only from time to time. Add the garlic, toss again and sauté for a few seconds. Be careful not to brown the garlic or it’ll become bitter. Remove from heat and set skillet aside.
Step 2: Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the salt and pasta. Cook the pasta until tender but still al dente. Drain well.
Step 3: Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to sizzle, add the pasta, reserved pasta water and salt. Toss well and remove from the heat. Divide into pasta bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Viviane Bauquet Farre of Food & Style