Leftover flat-leaf parsley is likely lurking in your crisper. This unassuming herb has a bright, grassy personality that combined with cheese, garlic, and good olive oil hits all the right notes to make this dish sing. The beauty is in the simplicity of this recipe, but it’s a great canvas for layering on additional flavors and textures. Try lemon zest, toasted walnuts or almonds, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or even sardines for a protein-packed dish.
Bring a large saucepan of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until pale golden-brown.
Scoop pasta directly into the skillet, tossing to coat. Add parsley and Parmesan, and toss until all the pasta strands are covered. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta cooking liquid to pan as needed to loosen sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.