Spaghetti with olive oil and garlic (aglio e olio) is a classic Italian pasta recipe made with pasta, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan. It takes only a few ingredients, just minutes to make, and is the perfect quick pasta to make on those busy nights.
This Italian garlic and oil pasta (aglio e olio) is such an easy dinner to make and in our house, we call this "emergency pasta" or "Italian Fast Food". It is our go-to dish when we are in a rush or just need a quick meal to make because we are too tired to cook a big meal.
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Ingredients For Spaghetti With Olive Oil And Garlic
You only need a few ingredients to make this simple classic garlic and olive oil pasta. It is really the best quick meal.
- Pasta. I prefer Spaghetti or thin spaghetti.
- Garlic. Make sure to use fresh garlic for this recipe.
- Fresh ground black pepper for plating
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A good quality extra virgin olive oil is important.
- Herbs: A sprinkling of fresh basil or fresh parsley (optional)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
Making this garlic and olive oil pasta is very easy. It has only a couple steps and you will be on your way to a delicious dinner. If you have 15 minutes then you can make this dish.
How to Make Spaghetti With Olive Oil And Garlic (Step-by-Step Photos)
How simple is that! The olive oil garlic sauce is literally cooked in the time it takes to cook your pasta. I just love the simplicity of this dish and that it tastes so amazing even though it is made in minutes.
Now we will often eat this garlic and olive oil pasta on its own but we also like to add in vegetables to make it a more complete meal. This makes a great base for so many veggies.
- Serve it alongside zucchini and tomatoes (which is a great topping for this pasta) because it goes perfectly with the sauce from that dish.
- You could add fried zucchini to this dish like we do with our spaghetti nerano
- Leafy greens will taste great added to this pasta. If you want to try adding some to your pasta just add it at the end when you are tossing your pasta in the sauce.
- Add roasted vegetables. I love adding my charred broccoli to this pasta.
- You always want to make sure you add pasta water to the cooked pasta.
- Always cook your pasta very al dente for this recipe. This means draining your pasta about 1 minute before al dente.
- Make sure you use good-quality ingredients (see my tips below for this).
How to Choose the Best Olive Oil
When looking for a good quality olive oil for this garlic and oil pasta, there are a few things you want to be looking for:
- First, you want to look for extra virgin olive oil that has been produced in Italy for the most authentic taste.
- The next thing you want to make sure of is that you are choosing extra virgin olive oil. This is the least processed olive oil and the one that will have the most flavor.
Tips and What to Look for When Buying Parmigiano Reggiano
There are only a couple things you need to look for when buying Parmigiano Reggiano at the store.
It needs to have the name Parmigiano Reggiano! This means it was made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and it is the only true Parmigiano Reggiano.
How to Choose the Best Pasta
When buying pasta for this recipe, or any pasta recipe, it is important to buy high-quality bronze-aged Durham wheat pasta. Spending a few extra cents (or dollars) is well worth it for this type of recipe that has only a few ingredients.
We love serving this alongside our pork chops in tomato sauce or on its own. If you are looking for more ideas of what to serve with this easy garlic and olive pasta recipe, here are some more of our favorites:
Aglio e olio literally translates to garlic with oil. You can use any pasta shape to use with an aglio e olio sauce but spaghetti is traditional.
The best way to heat up garlic and oil for pasta is in a skillet on low heat while the pasta is cooking. Just follow the steps in this recipe.
For More Easy Pasta Recipes
We love really easy pasta recipes so we have many! We have broken down some of our favorites for you:
- This garlic and oil pasta, my white wine garlic butter sauce for pasta, pan fried gnocchi, and easy carbonara are my go-to dishes for fast easy meals and they can all be easily customized.
- For a quick garden vegetables type of pasta, we make our Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta or our Pasta alla Checca and our Easy Pesto Pasta. All are so fresh.
- For a little more cooking (but not too much), our Pasta with Chickpeas and Lemon or our Pasta with Anchovy Butter and Tomatoes and our Broken Noodles with Sausage and Kale
- For cheesy easy pasta, we turn to our Ricotta Pasta and our Cheese Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce.
Spaghetti With Olive Oil And Garlic (Aglio e Olio)
- 1 lb spaghetti or thin spaghetti
- 1 cup of reserved pasta water see directions below
- ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes don't worry it wont be spicy!
- freshly grated black pepper for serving
- kosher salt for pasta water and more to taste
- For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- While you are waiting for the water to boil for your pasta, finely mince up your garlic.5 cloves of garlic finely minced
- Once pasta water is boiling you can start with the next step.
- In a large saute pan over low heat, add your olive oil and red pepper flakes.¼ cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Allow the oil and red pepper flakes to cook for a minute while you start on your pasta.
- No throw a a good a big pinch of salt into the pasta water (pasta water should be salty like ocean water). Add your pasta and stir well so the pasta does not stick and cook it according to the box instructions for al dente.1 lb spaghetti or thin spaghetti, kosher salt
- Next add your garlic to the saute pan with the olive oil and red pepper flakes and simmer on low for just one minute making sure not to let the garlic brown, If it looks like it is getting brown then remove it from the heat.
- After your pasta has been cooking for a minute, grab a coffee mug and scoop out a mug full of pasta water. Add half of it now to the garlic and oil in the pan and reserve half for later.1 cup of reserved pasta water
- Once pasta is cooked, drain and add the pasta to your sauté pan with the garlic and olive oil.
- Toss the pasta well to coat all of the pasta with the garlic and olive oil mixture. Keep cooking your pasta in the saute pan for a minute or two (you will notice the pasta will start to drink up that olive oil mixture).
- When you see the pan looking dry and not too much sauce remaining, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water from the mug and mix for 1 more minute.
- Now, turn off your heat and season to taste with salt and lots of pepper.
- Plate your pasta in 4 large bowls topping each with a good sprinkling of the fresh Parmesan and serve with fresh ground black pepper on the side.freshly grated black pepper, ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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