Break out that sketchy bulb of garlic from the fruit bowl, where it’s been tainting the apples since Thanksgiving, add a couple of items from the back of the pantry, and make dinner without leaving the house.

…and you can eat the sauce by itself, with a spoon!

Where I’m from, we only know how to drive in torrential rain and oppressive heat, a.k.a. the two seasons of Florida, so there’s no way I’m driving to the grocery store in the snow. Lucky for me, there’s pasta, garlic, and olive oil in the kitchen, so I can cook a decent thing even when it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen the inside of a City Market. Florida people, that’s the Publix of Western Colorado–and Safeway is the Winn Dixie, in my opinion. You’re welcome.

Don’t worry about juicing that lemon once you’ve zested it—keep it on your counter, where it will stay juicy inside for a few days longer, even once it’s hard as a dang rock. Pierce that baby with a sharp knife when you’re ready to use the juice.

Snow-day spaghetti is made with nutritional yeast, because the parmesan goes fast around here. If you’re not smashing your garlic to peel it before mincing, seriously, get on that. 

Yields4 Servings

ingredients
 1 lb spaghetti
 ¼ cup olive oil
 8 cloves garlic
 ½ tsp fine sea salt
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp chili flakes
optional ingredients
 2 tbsp butter (optional)
 zest of 1 lemon (optional)
 handful chopped fresh parsley (optional)
 3 sliced green onions (optional)
 parmesan or nutritional yeast (optional)

1

Fill a stock pot with 3-4 quarts water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat while you prep the sauce. You're going to be watching two pots, but not too closely... it's easy. I don't usually add salt to pasta water because I sometimes want a little respite from the salt in the sauce. That's just me, and it could be you, too, if you like.

2

While you wait the interminable 10 minutes it takes water to boil at high altitude, peel off the most flimsy and annoying of the garlic skins, rinse them off your hands, and place the garlic cloves with their most flat/stable sides on your cutting board. Smash each clove with the side of a heavy knife to loosen the tough skins, trim the stem ends, and mince that garlic. If your knife isn't what you'd call heavy, place the side of your lighter-weight knife on top of a garlic clove and press down on the blade with your palm until the skin cracks--it's a super satisfying process.

3

Add the olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, chili, and butter and lemon zest if you’ve got them to a large pan. Set aside for now.

4

If you’re using parsley or green onions, get those chopped and sliced and set aside. I usually line up prepped ingredients in little bowls, but you can leave these on your cutting board because you won't need it again.

5

When the water is boiling, add in the spaghetti, giving it a few lifts with a pair of tongs to separate the pasta without breaking it too much. Bring the pot back to the boil and then reduce heat to keep the spaghetti from boiling out of the pot.

6

About a minute before the spaghetti is done cooking, turn up the heat on your sauce pan to medium and cook just a minute, until the garlic begins turning golden—not brown or it turns bitter.

7

Add the parsley and green onions to the pan if you’re using them. If the spaghetti is not yet quite done, turn off the sauce pan heat.

8

When the spaghetti is done, turn the sauce pan back up to medium if it isn't already. Pick the spaghetti out of its pot with a pair of tongs, let it drain a little bit, and drop it into the garlic pan with the water that clings to it. You'll need to do this a few times to get it all, and you'll probably need to move the pan and pot close together to avoid dripping a bunch of hot noodles onto the stovetop.

9

Give the sauce and pasta a quick stir over medium heat to get everything coated. You should have a good, juicy, oily sauce going. If you got a little too much pasta water in there, turn the heat up and evaporate some.

10

Add salt & pepper to taste, and serve in warmed bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, parmesan, nutritional yeast, whatever you like.

Ingredients

ingredients
 1 lb spaghetti
 ¼ cup olive oil
 8 cloves garlic
 ½ tsp fine sea salt
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp chili flakes
optional ingredients
 2 tbsp butter (optional)
 zest of 1 lemon (optional)
 handful chopped fresh parsley (optional)
 3 sliced green onions (optional)
 parmesan or nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions

1

Fill a stock pot with 3-4 quarts water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat while you prep the sauce. You're going to be watching two pots, but not too closely... it's easy. I don't usually add salt to pasta water because I sometimes want a little respite from the salt in the sauce. That's just me, and it could be you, too, if you like.

2

While you wait the interminable 10 minutes it takes water to boil at high altitude, peel off the most flimsy and annoying of the garlic skins, rinse them off your hands, and place the garlic cloves with their most flat/stable sides on your cutting board. Smash each clove with the side of a heavy knife to loosen the tough skins, trim the stem ends, and mince that garlic. If your knife isn't what you'd call heavy, place the side of your lighter-weight knife on top of a garlic clove and press down on the blade with your palm until the skin cracks--it's a super satisfying process.

3

Add the olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, chili, and butter and lemon zest if you’ve got them to a large pan. Set aside for now.

4

If you’re using parsley or green onions, get those chopped and sliced and set aside. I usually line up prepped ingredients in little bowls, but you can leave these on your cutting board because you won't need it again.

5

When the water is boiling, add in the spaghetti, giving it a few lifts with a pair of tongs to separate the pasta without breaking it too much. Bring the pot back to the boil and then reduce heat to keep the spaghetti from boiling out of the pot.

6

About a minute before the spaghetti is done cooking, turn up the heat on your sauce pan to medium and cook just a minute, until the garlic begins turning golden—not brown or it turns bitter.

7

Add the parsley and green onions to the pan if you’re using them. If the spaghetti is not yet quite done, turn off the sauce pan heat.

8

When the spaghetti is done, turn the sauce pan back up to medium if it isn't already. Pick the spaghetti out of its pot with a pair of tongs, let it drain a little bit, and drop it into the garlic pan with the water that clings to it. You'll need to do this a few times to get it all, and you'll probably need to move the pan and pot close together to avoid dripping a bunch of hot noodles onto the stovetop.

9

Give the sauce and pasta a quick stir over medium heat to get everything coated. You should have a good, juicy, oily sauce going. If you got a little too much pasta water in there, turn the heat up and evaporate some.

10

Add salt & pepper to taste, and serve in warmed bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, parmesan, nutritional yeast, whatever you like.

snow-day spaghetti

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