Looking for dinner inspiration? Our Vegan Scarlett’s Pasta, adapted from the recipe in Chef, is just what you need. Inspired by Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, this vegan pasta dish is simple, delicious and addicting!
Let’s talk about food movies for a minute. If you’ve been following our blog or listening to our podcast for even just a few weeks, you know we love food media. Whether it’s television or film doesn’t matter, we just need it to be drool-worthy. And in our opinions, Chef is one of the best. The film by Jon Favreau is filled with beautiful imagery, a great story, and most importantly delicious food!
There’s a scene in Chef when Jon Favreau’s character makes a simple, yet delicious dish known to the film’s fans as Scarlett’s Pasta, but know more widely in the culinary world as Spaghetti Aglio e Olio – we’re making a vegan version. This recipe has only a handful of simple ingredients, but each ingredient comes together in delicious harmony, creating a heck of a flavourful dinner.
What is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (aka Scarlett’s Pasta)?
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a traditional pasta dish originating from Naples. It’s made by gently sauteeing thinly sliced garlic in olive oil with optional chili flakes. Then you toss in the spaghetti and some finely chopped parsley. While traditional recipes typically don’t contain cheese, we’re using the recipe from Chef that includes parmesan cheese.
How do you make Vegan Scarlett’s Pasta from Chef?
This is actually a fairly simple recipe to veganize. With just a handful of simple ingredients, all you need is one vegan swap to make this pasta dish a home run. Just swap parmesan for your favourite vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast and this delicious dinner is all yours!
Top tips for making Vegan Scarlett’s Pasta:
- Cut your garlic into razor thin slices. We found the trick for this delicious dinner is getting consistent, super-thin garlic slivers. Go slow and cut precisely.
- Keep your heat low. You want to cook the garlic on a super low heat to avoid over-cooking or burning the garlic. Keep a close eye and adjust heat as needed, the taste of burnt can take a delicious pasta dish to turn it into a sad attempted dinner.
- Keep the garlic moving. Like mentioned above, the garlic can burn easily. Other than keeping the temperature of your oil low, you also want to keep the garlic moving frequently. It shouldn’t take long, but keep an eye on it and stir it frequently.
- Keep reserved pasta water. For the best sauce results, pasta water is key! It thickens the sauce, allows it to coat the pasta, and adds delicious flavour.
- Adjust to taste. Everyone has different taste. Don’t forget to taste throughout the cooking process and adjust your seasonings to your own taste buds.
How to make Pasta Aglio e Olio from Chef:
Vegan Scarlett's Pasta
- 454 g dried spaghetti
- 240 mL (1 cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 85 g (12 large cloves) garlic slivers
- 3 g (1 tbsp) crushed red pepper flakes
- 42 g (1 cup) fresh parsley, minced
- 23 g (½ cup) nutritional yeast, (or vegan parm)
- sea salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti, cooking until al dente 8-10 minutes. Reserve some pasta water, then drain pasta.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat.
- Add garlic and stir frequently until the garlic is golden brown.
- Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Add the drained spaghetti directly to the pan.
- Toss until spaghetti is thoroughly coated with the garlic oil (add reserved pasta water if necessary).
- Remove pan from heat. Add the parsley, nutritional yeast and toss well.
- Check for flavor and adjust the salt if necessary.
- Squeeze lemons to taste, garnish with more nutritional yeast, and enjoy!