Scratchy Husband Pasta

Ok, cute name, I know. Named by some arch liberal stay-at- home dad that created this dish to calm his stressed out “husband/wife” after her stressful day at the office. I found this recipe in the NYTimes Cooking thing. This dish would easily serve as the main course but I served this as a great side dish to my Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper sauce. Yum!





¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 Tbs unsalted butter
1 whole head of garlic, or at least 10 cloves, peeled, sliced thin across the grain
1 pound dried thin spaghetti or vermicelli
1-4 tsp of chili flakes (depends on your commitment)
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp coarse ground pepper
A generous 1/2 cup of grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Additional cranks of the pepper mill, as needed


  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. When water simmers and is about to break to a roiling boil, place a 12-inch deep-sided sauté pan on low heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and butter and sliced garlic to the pan and let 4 Tbs butter melt, as the garlic begins to warm through. When the pasta water gets roiling, add salt to taste. (As always, like seawater.) Add the dry spaghetti. Add chili flakes to the warming garlic-oil mixture and swirl the pan a bit.
  3. Stir the spaghetti and make sure it is cooking evenly and the strands are separated.
  4. Swirl the garlic-chili-oil pan frequently, and let the garlic start to turn golden as the butter starts to foam and the chili blooms its heat and color into the oil.
  5. At 6-8 minutes, when the pasta is al dente, use tongs to place the mostly drained pasta right into the garlic-chili-oil pan, letting the last drips of water go right into the sauce
  6. Turn up the heat under the pasta now and tossing the pasta, add salt, pepper and remaining butter, coating it completely.
  7. Turn off the heat, add cheese and a lot of black pepper. Toss and distribute all the garlic and the cheese and the peppery sauce using two forks like you are tossing a salad, Add more cranks of pepper if you need to. This pasta should be heavily speckled with pepper.

Serve immediately with more Parmesan cheese.