Spaghetti Aglio e Olio


This tangled mess of words translates to “spaghetti with garlic and oil” in Italian. A traditional pasta dish originally from Napoli is made by lightly browning garlic in olive oil. Some folks add fresh parsley and crushed red pepper. This aromatic recipe is from chef Roy Choi, who developed it for Jon Favreau’s latest film. Make it tonight. You’ll be trending, bro.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 up extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lemons
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti, cooking until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir frequently until the garlic is golden brown. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the drained spaghetti directly to the pan. Toss until spaghetti is thoroughly coated with the garlic oil.
  4. Remove pan from heat, add the parsley and Parmesan. Toss well. Squeeze lemons to taste. Garnish with more Parmesan.

Pair this with a fruit-forward red. I went with a 2010 Demetria Estate Pantheon (65% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 5% white Rhone varieties). This direct and energetic wine slaps the palate with a blast of mineral-infused fruit. The 2010 was fermented in a combination of concrete and stainless steel. Nom.

Movie Night suggestion: A chef (Jon Favreau) loses his restaurant gig and starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creativity in the kitchen. Chef (2014) is a sweet, unpretentious little film that anyone who has a creative passion can instantly relate to. Substitute Casper’s (Favreau’s character) cooking with painting, sewing, making music, or writing and the message doesn’t change much.

Favreau uses his Hollywood clout to build the audience a yummy cast in the smallest of roles. John Leguizamo is expectedly energetic as Casper’s assistant, and I certainly can’t complain about the inclusion of Scarlett Johansson as Casper’s hostess with the mostess.

Chef isn’t going to change the world or anything, but it will hopefully give other artists and creatives a chance to think about what matters to them. Otherwise, what is art good for? Check it out and remember this is from the guy who directed the Iron Man trilogy.

I’m Jon Favreau. I’m trending, bro.

Chef is now streaming on Amazon and Netflix.