4 – 6 quarts water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¾ pound pasta (linguine)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Using an 8 quart stock pot with a pasta insert, bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and bring back to the boil. Add pasta and immediately stir to separate the individual pieces. The water should return to the boil very quickly. If necessary, cover pot until the water returns to the boil.
Cook just until al dente, stirring pasta once or twice during cooking. Drain pasta and reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water.
While pasta cooks, combine the garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes in a large sauté pan; warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic softens and turns golden in color, about 8 minutes. (You want to ‘sweat’ the garlic. Be sure you are on low, low heat! The purpose is to flavor the oil.)
Add the pasta and the reserved water to the garlic mixture; mix well. Add the parsley and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. Transfer to large serving bowl or divide amongst 4 warmed dishes. Served topped with grated cheese, if desired.