This is such a great classic dish, and you almost always have the ingredients for it right in your pantry. We always have peeled garlic in our fridge, and we have a few fresh or frozen veggies. That's all you need. And the secret ingredient is the pasta water. Adding that at the end has a crazy amazing impact on the consistency of the dish. Don't forget to save some!
In a small skillet or saucepan, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil (not too hot!). Add salt and 2/3 of garlic, then gently saute for 7-8 minutes. Turn off the heat when it gets nice and gold, but not yet brown.
WITH THE HEAT OFF, add the remaining olive oil, the remaining garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and herbs. Set aside.
Boil enough salted water (2 tsp salt) for 1 pound of pasta.
Cook pasta according to directions.
Just before your drain the pasta, take out 1 to 2 cups of the water and set aside.
Drain pasta, then return to pot.
Add every last drop of the Garlic/Oil/Herb mixture to the pasta and stir to coat.
Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. It will create a looser dish with a nice saucy consistency. Add a little more if you like.
Serve onto plates or bowls. Parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh chopped tomatoes, and/or freshly chopped basil all make nice toppings here.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.