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      Mary Anne's Pasta With Olive Oil, Herbs & Garlic

      When it's too hot to spend much time in the kitchen, do what the Italians domake something that is fast, simple, easy, and "molto squisito" very delicious! This classic Italian pasta goes together very quickly and is so easy on the budget. Mama Mia!

      1-16 ounce package of spaghetti or spaghetti

      1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

      4 cloves garlic (depending on size of cloves), thinly sliced

      1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

      1 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 teaspoons fresh parsley

      Salt and pepper, to taste

      Pinch red pepper flakes, optional

      1 cup pasta water, plus more if needed

      1 cup (8 ounces) Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

      Italian parsley, for garnish, optional

      Toasted garlic Italian or French bread, for passing

      • Bring 6 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta; partially cover, and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 6 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.
      • In a medium-size pan, add the olive oil and turn on the heat. Add the garlic to the olive oil. Remove the pan from the heat when the garlic turns a pale golden color (do not brown the garlic). Add the Italian seasoning, parsley, salt, pepper and if using, red pepper flakes. Return to the heat; stir while the herbs cook for about 1 minute. Add pasta to saucepan and stir. Add pasta water 1/4 cup at a time; be sure to continue stirring the pasta mixture. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add cheese and mix well. Place in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley if using.

      Serves 6 to 8.

      Note: You can add more pasta water if you think the mixture is too dry.

      Note: You can add homemade bacon bits or even grilled chicken breasts, cut into strips. You can also sprinkle the finish pasta with a few basil leaves and thyme if you want.

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