6 Pasta Recipes That Every 20-Something Should Know

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I had to take some long, hard looks at all these delicious dinners when I was at the studio shooting this "Foodiversity: Pasta 101" feature, and I don’t think I have ever been more tortured. Pasta is already my weakness, but — OMG! — these recipes! They are so good! Whether you are new in the kitchen and want to learn some easy dishes to whip up, or you are a seasoned pasta eater (like me!) and want some new ideas for fast weeknight fare, we got you. From a one-pot meal to one that uses breakfast ingredients in a totally novel way, these pages are truly good enough to eat. I personally don’t think Foodiversity had ever looked, or tasted, better. But bring some water to a boil and see for yourself. Signed, The Pasta Monster.

The Easiest (& Yummiest) Pasta Ever

Photographed by Eric Helgas; Food Styled by Michelle Gatton.
This pasta is not just easy to make; it's fun to say. Pasta Aglio Olio (pronounced ah-lee-oh oh-lee-oh) is the ultimate quick, delicious dish. As a kid growing up in an Italian family, I was taught to make this pasta for myself. It's carried me through all of my life — childhood, college, and adulthood. Even now, after a long, tiring day, I can zombie-walk to my pantry and absentmindedly whip up a batch of aglio olio in almost no time.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio
Makes 6-8 servings.

Ingredients
1 lb dry spaghetti
2/3 cup good-quality olive oil
8-10 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 tsp salt for the pasta water
salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
1. Fill a large pot or dutch oven 3/4 full with water, (about 4 quarts). Add the salt and bring to a boil.

2. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente, 9-11 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) over medium heat in a deep skillet. As soon as it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the garlic is a very light brown, about 8 minutes.

4. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta; you want a tiny bit of the pasta water in the sauce.

5. Remove the pan with the olive oil mixture from the heat and add the pasta to it. Stir in the parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper on top.
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