Recipe Review: Pasta Aglio e Olio inspired by Chef from Binging with Babish

Original recipe from Babish’s cookbook (also available on his website!)

Two Babish recipes in a row! And both pasta! What is this world coming to?

It’s called “Lauren & Steven couldn’t figure out what to make for dinner and were bored of their current rotation and so they decided to actually read and use their cookbooks.”

What I Changed: The only thing I changed in this recipe is that I used 3 tablespoons of lemon juice instead of buying an actual lemon. I know that some people consider this sacrilege, but you can only buy lemons in like 2-pound bags and I don’t need two pounds of lemons (they’d go bad before I used them all!), whereas lemon juice sits in its little bottle and is good for a long time.

What I Would Change: I think next time I’d reduce the amount of oil we used. It calls for half a cup, and even after letting it cook down we were still left with a ton of oil at the bottom of the pan (which wouldn’t cook out no matter how long we left it, and we were afraid of over-cooking the noodles at that point). I don’t think I’d halve the amount of oil, but I’d probably take it down to maybe just over 1/3 of a cup.

I think I’d also go with minced garlic instead of sliced garlic, in order to spread the garlic flavor out just a little bit. The sliced garlic was like getting slapped in the face whenever you picked up a huge hunk of it, and I’d much rather the garlic flavor be more intense and spread out than barely there until you bite into some of it. (We also overcooked the garlic a tad, so I’d be sure not to do that next time.)

Does it Reheat?: Technically, yes, it does reheat. It’s just not super great (which is probably why the recipe says it only serves two). We had a little bit left over after we finished eating (basically, enough for one serving for me to take to work), but it was way, way too oily the second day. Because of course, when you reheat something that’s been smothered in olive oil, all it does is melt the olive oil off of the pasta noodles and to the bottom of the bowl you’re using. Not super great.

Final Thoughts: It was good, but it wasn’t great. While it’s definitely a quick week night meal (even more so if you use pre-minced garlic), it’s just way too oily for my tastes and it got oil everywhere when we tried to add the (hot, dripping) noodles to the pan.

This is a good 3/5 star recipe. It’s nothing super special, but it’s good enough to put into a week night meal rotation if someone’s having a hard week and we don’t want to think about making dinner or spend money eating out.

We also attempted to plate the thing with the carving fork, but alas, it’s just so oily and slippery that it wouldn’t bunch up into the pretty little nests. Fail.

What about you? Do you have strong feelings on Italian pasta? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.

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