Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti or linguine
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just until golden, about 1 minute; add crushed red pepper if using, and cook 30 seconds longer. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in salt and black pepper. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce and parsley, using cooking water to moisten pasta as necessary. Makes 6 main-dish servings. The classic combination of garlic and oil gives this simple pasta its heady flavor. Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese.

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