In Italian, mezzanotte means “middle of the night”, and spaghetti di mezzanotte is a comfort food that’s traditionally cooked by mothers when their children get back late from partying and drinking.  The idea is that this is a pasta that’s easy to whip up when it’s late, and tasty and filling enough to soak up some of the booze.  This particular recipe combines a lot of common Italian ingredients – Parmesan cheese, pepper, olive oil, garlic, and spicy red pepper flakes – into a dish that’s super simple to make.  We based this on something we found in the New York Times, where a commenter helpfully pointed out the similarities between this recipe and the late-night pasta dish common all over Italy.  But don’t worry, you can eat this at any time of the day, regardless of your state of sobriety.

To make this pasta, you’ll need:

  • A pound of spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • A stick of butter
  • An entire head of garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper

Start by setting a pot of water to boil, and while you’re waiting thinly slice all of your garlic cloves.  Then place your stick of butter, 3/4 cup of olive oil, and the garlic in a large pan with deep sides and let everything warm over low heat until the butter melts.




Then add in at least a tablespoon of red pepper flakes.


red pepper flakes_1350x900


Mix everything together by swirling the pan around over and over until the butter foams a little bit, the garlic begins to brown, and the oil and butter turn red from the pepper flakes.




Let the spaghetti cook for about 8 minutes, then pull it from its pot using tongs and place it right into the pan with the garlic-red pepper sauce.  Grate 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on top and grind a lot of pepper over everything.




Now mix all your ingredients together …




… then serve up your pasta with extra cheese on top.




See – very easy, and very delicious!  After all, who doesn’t love pasta with cheese, butter, and garlic?  Add in some red and black pepper for a little spicy kick, and you’ve got some very tasty pasta.  If it’s good enough for Italian mothers to feed to their wild kids, it’s definitely good enough for us too.