Garlic and Oil Spaghetti with Parmesan

461...  461 Ocean Boulevard is the address of one of Eric Clapton's recording studios.  NASA announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates a few days ago.  461 BC is known as the Year of the Consulship of Gallus and Cornutus.  It's also the number of days since my last post.

So much has happened in the last year and 3 months.  I'm still working, which is 99% of the reason I haven't posted in so long.  If you read any of my last few posts, you'll remember how I questioned how the hell any of you fellow bloggers do it while working outside the home.  Luckily, I've found (mostly) a balance with working, kids, husband, and home.  It's only taken this idiot 1-1/2 years to do so...  Thus, at the encouragement of my husband and a few friends, I'm going to give FKS another go.  No promises on how often I'll get to partake, but I hope to continue as much as possible nonetheless.

Enough of that.

You may remember our Basset Hound, Sobe.  Unfortunately, he was very sick and died just a few short weeks after my last post in November 2011.  We grieved, and still do, missing him every day.  However, we got a puppy (Jesus, what were we thinking!?!?) just a few days after Christmas.  Her name is Vera Ellen, after Vera Ellen, from our favorite holiday movie, White Christmas.  Hopefully the dog will not turn out to be anorexic like the human Vera Ellen.

Vera is 14 weeks old and full of energy.  We were used to a dumb, lazy dog (sorry, Sobe, but it's true). So a highly intelligent, energetic, bouncy little pup is a bit of an adjustment. And lately she's taken to humping my daughter's legs.  Perfect.

My husband and I also decided to go totally vegetarian.  I have never really liked the taste of meat much, so I decided to see if I could go full on vege.  Turns out, it's pretty much the easiest change I've made.  Ever.  Plus I feel good that none of my food ever felt pain.

How about that pasta, you ask?  It's delicious.  It's easy.  You probably have all these ingredients on hand, except maybe fresh parsley.

Don't be alarmed by the shit-ton of garlic in this recipe.  You're making Garlic and Oil Spaghetti, after all.  It's garlicky but in the sweet, subtle yet pungent way garlic can do when it's behaving.  It is probably a bit spicy for those with a delicate palate, so feel free to cut back on the red pepper flakes.  The lemon and parsley add a brightness to the full garlic flavor.  The buttery breadcrumbs provide a crunch that pairs nicely with the salty Parm.

Garlic and Oil Spaghetti with Parmesan

1-1/2 T. butter
1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
1 lb. spaghetti
6 T. olive oil
1/4 c. minced garlic (1-2 heads)
3/4 t. red pepper flakes
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 t. lemon zest
2 t. lemon juice
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
Kosher salt

Heat butter in a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Add Panko and salt, stirring until golden and toasted.  Set aside.  Wipe out skillet.

Heat a large pot of water until boiling.  Add 1 t. Kosher salt.  Cook pasta according to directions. Scoop out about a cup of pasta water and set aside.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet used for the breadcrumbs, heat 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons garlic, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt over med-low heat.  The garlic will foam and become light-golden brown after 10 minutes or so.  Be sure to stir very frequently or it'll burn and become bitter.

Pull skillet off heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons pasta water.  Stir to combine.

Put cooked pasta back into the hot pot.  Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, and about 1/3 cup pasta water and toss well.  Add garlic mixture and season to taste.  Add more pasta water if necessary to make it moister.

Place pasta in serving bowls and top with breadcrumbs and Parm.

Sort of based on recipe by Cook's Illustrated March 2001.

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