Easy Rigatoni (or any pasta)

This is the easiest pasta dish I know. At it's simplest it's pasta (of whatever kind you like) with garlic oil and hot red pepper. And the beauty of this dish is that you can innovate by adding whatever ingredients you need. The basic recipe is the same. The additions will give you the innovations you desire.

In the recipe given I used rigatoni (they were on sale at the supermarket and I said, What the hell, let's go with it). That's why I call the dish "Easy Rigatoni." But you can use string types like spaghetti or linguini; or tubular ones like ziti, rotini, or even plain elbow noodles. So the dish can be can be Easy Angle Hair, Easy Perciatelli (or Bucatini), Easy Fettuccini, etc.  The choices are infinite. Also, to the base recipe I added onion, black olives and, of course, Parmesan cheese (you can substitute Romano or Asiago). If you like, you can add seafood or meat, or whatever strikes your fancy. Or keep it plain and simple. It'll still be worth the effort, which is minimal.


1 pound box rigatoni
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 medium onion, peeled and slice into thin rings
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small hot red pepper, seeded and crumbled into tiny pieces
1 5.75-oz. can large or jumbo black olives, drained and sliced in half
Parmesan cheese

1. Cook rigatoni in salted water according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent.
3. Add garlic and hot red pepper, and cook about 2 minutes more.
4. Drain rigatoni, stir in garlic/hot  sauce. Add two tablespoons olive oil, mix well, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.