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Pepperoncini Pasta (Aglio Olio)

Garlic, red pepper and good olive oil makes this pasta special - great with grilled or roasted meats & seafood.

rustic bread slices & olive oil
1 pound spaghetti, or linguini
approx 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1/4 cup pressed garlic
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
sea salt and pepper
coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Brush a few slices of rustic bread with olive oil and then cube. Place on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350-degree oven until dried and lightly browned. Reserve.

Boil pasta in 4 quarts of salted water and cook to al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1/2-cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, combine 3 TBS oil, 3 TBS garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large, heavy, non-stick pot; cook over very low heat, stirring regularly, until garlic is a dirty blonde color. Remove from heat. Add remaining fresh garlic, red pepper, parsley, lemon juice and 2-3 TBS pasta cooking water to skillet and stir well.

Toss pasta in cooked garlic medley, drizzling with a great olive oil and splashing with more pasta water as needed. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and bread cubes. Can also be garnished with lemon zest.

Perfect accompaniments: grilled steak or pork loin, grilled salmon, roast chicken, tomato concassée or sliced tomatoes, salad, sautéed greens.

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