Spaghetti with garlic and oil, or Aglio e Olio, provides a stage for bagoong to shine in the spotlight. In a pasta setting, the fishy Filipino condiment makes sense when you think of it like anchovies: both transform sauces with their salty, briny meatiness.
Undercooking your pasta sounds like an error, but don't worry. The pasta will finish al dente in the pan, coated in the glossy garlic-bagoong sauce. A garnish of lemony toasted breadcrumbs add a sunny crunch.
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp butter
- zest from 1 lemon
- ½ tsp salt
Bagoong Aglio E Olio
- 200g spaghetti or long pasta
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 2 tbsp bagoong
- finely chopped parsley, for garnish
Make breadcrumbs: Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Transfer crumbs to a small bowl. While warm, add lemon zest and stir or rub into the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Cook pasta: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions. (The pasta will finish cooking in the pan, tossed in the sauce.) Reserve around 2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Make sauce: While the pasta is cooking, combine olive oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden (do not brown), about 3–5 minutes. Stir in bagoong and chili flakes until well incorporated.
Toss pasta in sauce: Add drained pasta and 1 cup reserved pasta water to the garlic-bagoong mixture. Using tongs, stir and toss the pasta vigorously until a thick sauce forms and pasta is al dente. Add more pasta water if the pan looks too dry.
Serve: Divide pasta between low bowls. Garnish with lemon breadcrumbs and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.