A little bit less than a month ago, Jeff Hoogland, the developer of Bodhi Linux, wrote a nice howto about how to avoid installing the unnecessary recommended packages using apt-get.
# apt-get install --no-install-recommends packagename
Later, GNUski translated it for aptitude:
# aptitude install --without-recommends packagename
However, it can be done even much easier:
# aptitude install -R packagename
Saving time, saving energy, saving the WORLD.
Anyway, what would the computer scientists do without World?
std::cout << "Hello World!"