Food in movies, if done right, can inspire us in many ways. It can inspire us to cook a fancy dinner, take a cooking class, or in the case of the movie “Chef” start a food truck! Okay maybe not all of us can just get out there and start making Cuban sandwiches in an old food truck but we all can aim for one of the more simple and tantalizing recipes in the movie: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio!
The culinary mind behind all of the food in the movie was Chef Roy Choi of LA. Many know him from his popular Korean-Mexican food truck Kogi. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in the world renowned kitchen of Le Bernardin in NY. Needless to say, Chef Roy Choi knows how to make great food!
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a dish that I think clearly shows Roy Choi’s style. A dish of few ingredients that come together to create something special! While the recipe may seem simple enough, it is one that you must give your complete love and attention to in order to make great.
If you haven’t watched the movie I wholeheartedly recommend you watch it. Just the pasta scene alone will make you want to watch the rest of the movie! Seeing the care that Jon Favreau’s character puts into making it was enough to make me want to make it.
I also never thought I would be inspired to buy a carving fork from a pasta dish. You’ll know what I mean when you see the movie! Be sure to read my instructions all the way through before cooking as this recipe will move pretty fast as soon as you start with the garlic. I recommend having all your ingredients right by the stove ready to go.
Tips for Cooking and Serving
- Read the recipe fully before attempting to cook this dish. In a matter of seconds your beautiful pasta dish can go from delicious to burnt. Be sure you understand each step.
- Have all your ingredients measured out and organized before you begin to cook anything. ORGANIZATION IS KEY!!!
- Serve the pasta IMMEDIATELY after plating. According to Chef Roy Choi, this is one of those dishes that is best right after it is prepared.
Other Recipes to Try
- Berries & Cream from “Chef”
- Tapas Spanish Meatballs (Albondigas)
- Short Rib Ragu with Tagliatelle Pasta
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio from “Chef”
- 1/2 lb dry spaghetti
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 small lemon
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter optional
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- grated parmesan to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water generously with salt and add a bit of oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Boil the pasta until al dente about 9-10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and strain the pasta.
- In a pan large enough to hold the pasta, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the garlic.
- When the garlic begins to turn golden brown on the edges add in the chili flakes and turn off the heat. Carefully add in the parsley and let fry a few seconds. (I like to fry the parsley a little to get a deeper green color)
- Add in the strained pasta and and stir to combine. Pour in half of the reserved pasta water to start creating more of a sauce. If the pasta is still a little too dry then add the second half.
- Squeeze in the juice of the half lemon. If using, add the 1/2 tbsp butter and stir to combine. This will help to make the sauce a little creamier. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Plate the pasta, top with some grated parmesan, and enjoy immediately!