This easy spaghetti aglio e olio comes together in about 20 minutes and is the perfect weeknight dinner! This garlic and oil pasta is one of the easiest Italian pasta recipes I have ever made. It’s made with minimal ingredients still packed with flavors. This recipe is a total knockout.
What is Spaghetti Aglio e Oilo?
Aglio=garlic and olio=oil, hence it is simply called garlic and oil pasta. This spaghetti aglio e olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish from Naples. Here spaghetti is tossed in toasted brown garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, parsley, and parmesan cheese.
Easy Garlic and Oil Pasta
This aglio e olio pasta is one of those simple dinners we should all know how to make. It’s the perfect go-to for a busy weeknight, and also perfect for weekends or the guests.
It seems like one of those dinners with so few ingredients that how could you mess up. Few simple tricks to get the best flavor out of garlic and oil, learn that below and you are good to go.
The secret to making this to perfection is toasting the garlic in olive oil properly. If not done right then you will have a sharp raw flavor of garlic which ruins the taste of entire pasta dish. So pay attention to below step by step photo instructions and learn how to perfect it.
How to make spaghetti aglio e olio?
1) Cook spaghetti according to the package instruction. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt and cook spaghetti pasta in boiling water till al dente, slightly undercooked (cooking time may mention on the pasta packet). Once done, drain the pasta.
2) Take olive oil and sliced garlic in a pan. Remember, pan and oil is not heated, but cool at room temperature.
3) Now turn the heat on medium. Let the oil and garlic heat up together, thus you will have garlic flavor infused in the oil. After some time it starts to sizzle up and you will see bubbles in the olive oil. This time lower the heat to medium-low.
4) Slowly toast the garlic till they are light brown in color. Do not burn the garlic, otherwise, it will taste bitter.
5) Add red pepper flakes. Turn OFF the stove.
6) Add drained pasta, parsley, parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt.
7) Toss well, so oil is coated to spaghetti well.
Remove it to a serving bowl, garnish with more Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Variations to this garlic and oil pasta:
- you can add some steamed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, beans or marinated veggies likes zucchini, red bell pepper, eggplant, squash.
- For doing so, once garlic is cooked, add veggies along with some Italian seasoning of your choice and then mix with spaghetti or pasta.
- You can also add some toasted hazelnuts or pine nuts.
- You can use other noodles style pasta like linguine, fettuccine.
Few Notes on Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
- Toasting the garlic in olive oil – It is a crucial step to make this pasta dish. Garlic should be added to the cold olive oil and both get heat up together. Once the oil starts to bubble up it is must to LOWER the heat and toast the garlic till it is light golden brown in color.
- If garlic is too lightly roasted then you will have sharp raw garlic taste.
- If garlic is too dark and brown then you will have a bitter taste of garlic.
- As being vegetarian, I have used vegetarian parmesan cheese. If you don’t know that the original parmigiano reggiano cheese is not vegetarian cheese, it has rennet in it. As per your diet, choose the appropriate cheese.
Spaghetti Aglio E Olio (Garlic and Oil Pasta)
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- 6 tablespoons Olive oil
- 6 large cloves Garlic thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon Red chilli flakes or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoon Parsley finely chopped
- ⅔ cup Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese grated
- Take a large pot filled with water and also add a big pinch of salt in it. Bring this to a boil on high heat. Once it starts boiling, add spaghetti and cook as per package instruction. Mine took 12 minutes. Do stir occasionally.
- Once cooked, drain the pasta water and keep it aside.
- Take olive oil and garlic in a cold pan.
- Then turn the heat on medium. Let the oil and garlic heat up together, thus you will have garlic flavor infused in the oil.
- After some time it starts to sizzle up and you will see bubbles in the olive oil. This time lower the heat to medium-low.
- Slowly toast the garlic till they are light brown in color.
- Add red pepper flakes. Turn OFF the stove.
- Add drained pasta, parsley, parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt.
- Toss well, so oil is coated to spaghetti well.
- While toasting garlic, if you see that it is sizzling too fast then turn off the heat (remove the pan from heat) and it will get toasted in remaining heat.
- If garlic is toasted on high or medium-high heat then it gets brown quickly, but won’t get garlic infused-oil. So keep the gas heat low to medium.