1 pound dry spaghetti
Cold water to cover
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup pasta water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ounce grated parmesan cheese for serving
Additions: Add any of the following: Cherry tomatoes, cooked chicken, sausage, broccoli, or other vegetable of your choice.
- Combine pasta, water and salt in a 3-quart, high-sided saute pan. (Water should just barely cover pasta and measure 1 1/2 inches deep total.) Cover and set over medium-high heat.
- When water reaches a boil, remove the lid and decrease heat to medium to maintain a simmer. Stir the pasta every minute or so, making sure the ends of the noodles stay submerged and that they aren't sticking together. Add more water as needed to keep it submerged.
- While the pasta cooks, begin the sauce. Combine the Parmesan and the olive oil in a large, deep mixing bowl. Work ingredients together with a whisk until it forms a batter-like sauce.
- When the pasta has been simmering for 5 minutes, ladle 1 cup of the cooking water into a measuring cup then slowly drizzle 3/4 cup into cheese paste while mixing until smooth.
- After the pasta has been cooking for 10 minutes start checking for doneness; you want it to be just barely al dente (a little bite).
- Use tongs to lift the pasta out of the cooking water and allow to briefly drain before adding to the cheese paste. Grasp the pasta with the tongs and stir vigorously for 2 minutes. The pasta will continue to release starch and the sauce will emulsify. Around a minute thirty you will see cheesy water magically transform into a proper sauce. If you find your sauce clumping, add a bit more of the pasta water and continue working the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Portion pasta into bowls, top with reserved parmesan cheese and serve immediately.