Sauced: Aglio e Olio


Sauces, dips, dressings, and condiments from around the world.


[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

In the summer, I tend to be less likely to cook in the kitchen, thanks to the heat and my primary focus on grilling everything. The exception to this are quick, easy, and light dishes, and this aglio e olio hits all three of those requirements.

This rustic Italian sauce starts with just two ingredients—garlic and olive oil, as its name suggests. You can start the garlic out minced or sliced; I prefer the latter, as it ends with little crispy garlic discs that add a pleasing crunch to the pasta. The oil is heated until the garlic just starts to simmer, then lowered to let the garlic slowly cook and fully impart its flavor into the oil.

Once the garlic starts to brown, you're technically done, but a dash of red pepper flakes and salt add a nice heat and seasoning that elevate the sauce, in my opinion.

Toss this into a bowl of spaghetti and you have a meal that bursts with a bright and smooth garlic flavor that seems to fit any season. Best part is, the whole thing only takes about 15 minutes, leaving me more time to think about the most important part of summer—grilling.