This dish took me 30 minutes to make from start to finish and each of us sat down to a different dinner! I’m no magician, but I’m possibly ingenious!
This was a night (Thursday night Nov. 6th to be precise) when each of us wanted something a little different and I was in the mood to cater to those variations. All I did was center everything around spaghetti with a base flavor of olive oil, garlic, onions and cayenne pepper flakes and then add in the requested ingredients for each person.
I was working with the best dry spaghetti in the world in my opinion (Rigorosa from Gragnano, Italy 🇮🇹 ), so each dish had a sturdy foundation from which to build each particular meal-whim!
Cooking the spaghetti perfectly was also important, so keep that in mind as you cook. There is nothing worse than pasta that disintegrates in your mouth!
This is also great to make on a grand scale for a party and the added ingredients can be served alongside in bowls family style.
To guild the lily of these spaghetti dishes, we grated a little (or a lot!) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top before devouring.
*there is great potential for Blood Type A Diet variations here: follow the recipe omitting any meat, cayenne pepper and black pepper (also the Parm cheese if you are strict). Only use green olives if using as one of the add-in ingredients. Add some spinach or other friendly leafy green or sautéed fish or chicken if you like (or crispy-fried tofu)*
For the Basic Spaghetti Recipe:
4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic – finely chopped or minced
1 medium sweet or white onion – small dice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (up to 1 tsp if you like a little more heat – we do!)
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (if its fine grain, start with 1/2 – if it is something like a sea salt flake or large flakes, use 1 tsp)
Several grinds black pepper
1 lb good quality dry spaghetti
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked pasta water (scoop from pasta pot before draining cooked pasta and set aside)
Variations or Add-Ins – (portioned by person so multiply for more people):
1/2 cup quickly sautéed cherry tomatoes (saute in a little extra-virgin olive oil on a medium/hot pan for 2 to 3 minutes)
1 cup spinach – leaves or roughly chopped large pieces (toss in right when you toss in the pasta to the dish)
1/4 cup of good quality black or green olives – sliced
1 to 2 Italian-style sausage – cooked and sliced (add to dish when serving)
1 to 2 softly fried eggs sunny-side-up eggs (fried in olive oil right before serving and add to each plate as you serve drizzling a little of the cooking oil over the eggs)
2 tbs freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (add to each dish as you serve)
*If you are planning on serving sausage, put them on to gently fry at this time, turning them to brown. They will be cooked by the time your dish is together*
1 – Prep all ingredients that you plan on using and put water on for pasta. Cook pasta according to instruction, making sure to scoop out 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water before draining (also check the pasta a minute or two before the recommended cooking time and drain while it still has a little toothsome bite)
2 – Put large saute pan on low/medium heat and add the oil. When it has warmed, add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes before adding the garlic. Continue to cook for another 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pepper flakes, several grinds of pepper and the salt and cover to cook for another 3 minutes (until the onions are very soft)
3 – When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and toss immediately into the pan with the onions mixture. Mix together gently (with two wooden spoons) and add a cup of hot pasta water to loosen it all up. Taste for addition of more salt and add more water if you feel it needs it.
4 – Have everything else that you want to add ready and waiting.
At this point serve everyone or put the pasta in a large warmed serving bowl and surround with little bowls of all the other ingredients and let people help themselves. Pass the cheese!
💜 💜 💜 💜