The first time I ever ate aio e oio (Roman garlic and oil sauce) wasn't in Rome, but in Salt Lake City, at Caffe Molise, many years ago, when it was owned and operated by founder Shelly DeProto. It instantly became one of my favorite all-time pasta dishes. Thankfully, it's so simple to make that even a beginner in the kitchen can make it with great success.
This recipe is based on the great Italian cooking expert, Marcella Hazan's, with a slight tweak or two of my own. I strongly urge you to try this -- especially if you're a garlic lover. It's a very quick-and-easy dish for the busy cook -- you can make the aio e oio sauce while the pasta is boiling.
1 lb. dried pasta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 tsp. hot red-chili pepper flakes (you can add more or leave them out altogether, depending on your heat tolerance)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 Tbs. minced fresh Italian parsley
Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil and cook the pasta just to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, place the garlic, olive oil and chili peppers into a small pan over medium-low heat.
Cook the garlic/oil/chili mixture, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes a pale gold.
DON'T BURN THE GARLIC! Remove from the heat as soon as the garlic turns slightly golden.
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and toss with the aio e oio and the chopped parsley.
I think it's probably sacrilegious in Rome, but I like to serve my aio e oio topped with a little fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano. It's served here with a side of fried artichoke hearts.