The fresh garlic in this Parmesan pasta dish balances with other ingredients in a way that will rock you a new groove.
Fresh Garlic Parmesan Pasta is so exceptional.
It’s brilliant with flavor and the ingredients are so easy to come by, that many of the friends I’ve served it to have adopted it as their go-to “I need something right now” dinner recipe. It’s easiest to assemble the ingredients right in the individual serving bowls, and it all comes together quickly. Some are apprehensive about the garlic being raw. After their first bite, though, they become dedicated fans. Aside from being delicious in this dish, eating raw garlic is good for you.
Fresh Garlic Parmesan Pasta doesn’t need any optional ingredients in order to be fantastic. Yet it welcomes them with open arms nonetheless.
- ?-½ lb dried pasta– rotini or penne preferred
- 2 tsp (roughly) olive oil + more, to taste
- 2 medium cloves of garlic
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Grated, shredded, or shaved Parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- Leftover chicken, cut into strips and sautéed until warm
- Fresh chicken breast, grilled and sliced into strips
- ¼ lb sliced mushrooms, browned in olive oil
- ¼ lb sliced bell peppers, softened and lightly browned in olive oil
- Cherry tomatoes, cut in half and sautéed until warm
- Roasted broccoli
- Roasted Brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 large, fully cooked sausage or bratwurst, sliced into rounds
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In the meantime, prepare any optional ingredients. Once you’re done, set the optional items aside. If they get cold while you’re waiting for the pasta, reheat them when it’s time too add them.
- While you’re (still) waiting for the pasta water to boil, prep serving plates (such as pasta plates, or large soup or cereal bowls). For each of them, do this: pour in 1 tsp (roughly measured) olive oil, use a garlic press to crush one clove on top of the oil, sprinkle ?-tsp red pepper flakes over that, add 2 Tbs of Parmesan, and top it all off with a pinch of salt (but be conservative, because the Parmesan is also salty) and lots of coarsely ground black pepper.
- Once the pasta’s done, drain it, divide it into two equal portions (or extract two portions from it), and add those portions to the serving plates along with any optional ingredients. Toss each serving, adding oil and/or cheese as necessary. (A rubber spatula in each hand is, well, handy for this.) How much oil you ultimately use depends on how much cheese, pasta, and optional ingredients you use. The finished serving should look like it has enough cheese to make you happy, and the whole thing should be lightly coated with oil, not dry. Taste to correct seasoning. After you’ve finished tossing, sprinkle each serving with a modest dusting of extra Parmesan, if desired.