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I realize aglio olio is best consumed warm. When it cools it's not as nice as the oil thickens.

Am I putting too much oil or should I use a thinner olive oil?

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If you are referring to the pasta dish, don't make the aglio e olio until you put your pasta in the water. Then, when pasta is a minute or so from being finished remove it from the water and place it into the pan with the aglio e olio to finish cooking. Add a little pasta water to emulsify. Serve. In this scenario, it should never cool during preparation and the entire dish only takes as long to make as the cooking of the pasta.

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I grew up in Italy.

Aglio olio is not always served warm. Not because the chef wants it that way, but simply because the pasta is so minimal that without the specific heat capacity of a tomato or cream sauce, it tends to cool very fast. Spaghetti has a lot of surface area so it cools quickly.

The 3 principle things you can do are:

  • Remember that the pasta is still cooking when you transfer it to the dish, so don't overcook it. Don't use the Asian approach of running water over the pasta to stop the cooking process....instead, just do the transfer early and assume it will keep cooking.

  • Warm the dish in the oven beforehand. Pasta can lose a LOT of heat to a cool or room temperature dish via conduction.

  • Serve promptly. Aglio olio is a quick dish to make so you should have no excuse for not serving immediately after its ready.

Buon appetito!

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