SPAGHETTI WITH GARLIC AND OLIVE OIL

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This humble and fragrant spaghetti with garlic and olive oil brings me back to my childhood. It’s a classic Italian pasta dish that requires a few cheap ingredients, little effort, and it’s ready in 10 minutes.

It’s a super quick spaghetti recipe, delicious and packed with flavor, which comes in handy any time. Absolutely perfect for sharing with friends or after a long day, when you decide pasta is for dinner tonight.

Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil on a grey plate.

Spaghetti Aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) is simple, cheap, good, satisfying, and fun. 

I promise, the lovely smell of garlic and chili flakes, gently fried in olive oil, will cheer you up!

 

Two wooden spoons are lifting some pasta with garlic and olive oil.

  • WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:

    • Regular or whole wheat spaghetti
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Garlic
    • Fresh or dried chili flakes
    • Salt
    • Parmesan cheese (optional)
    • Parsley (optional)

The ingredients for this pasta with garlic and olive oil are arranged on a white marble surface.HOW TO MAKE PASTA WITH AGLIO E OLIO?
(Note: ingredient quantities and method are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

  • Cook your spaghetti until al dente
  • Meantime, fry gently garlic and chili in olive oil
  • Drain spaghetti, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water
  • Add spaghetti and parley to the skillet

The first image shows olive oil, garlic and chili in a skillet. The second image shows the spaghetti in the same skillet.

  • Add as much cooking water as needed to make the pasta moist
  • Stir well to coat
  • If you don’t keep it vegan, serve with parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle extra chili flakes and parsley, if you like. Enjoy!

A wooden spoon is stirring spaghetti aglio e olio in a cast iron skillet.

EASY, HEALTHY AND INEXPENSIVE!

First things first, a skillet of this fragrant and spicy spaghetti comes together in 10 MINUTES and costs less than 90 cents per serving!

Also, this simple homemade spaghetti dish is likely healthier than an expensive last-minute takeaway, and if you go for whole grain pasta you’ll get more natural fiber and micronutrients than white pasta. Plus, extra virgin olive oil features a long list of health benefits and coats your pasta beautifully.

This is simple, real, food.

MORE DELICIOUS PASTA RECIPES READY IN 10 MINUTES?

Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil served in two white bowls.Recipe updated: originally posted in November 2018, I’ve tweaked the post adding more notes and new pictures.

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS

Only a few basic ingredients, but their quality will make the difference! Pasta, garlic and olive oil are the key ingredients in this recipe.

PASTA

What’s better than spaghetti? Long pasta is simply perfect with garlic and olive oil, you will love wrapping spaghetti or linguine around your fork!

And when you chose pasta, have a proper look at the label and go for durum wheat semolina pasta. Pasta brand matters, and although premium quality pasta is a bit more expensive than basic pasta, it’s resilient, it has a more robust texture.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Extra virgin olive oil is the flavor you want here.

A good extra virgin olive oil smells and tastes good, clean and fresh. The flavor can be fruity, floral, herbal or even subtle, but never overpowering in a way that indicates rancidity.
Tasteless olive oil or other regular vegetable oil won’t work.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD A TWIST?

To make it more special, for people who think this spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is too simple, add a further burst of flavor by including a couple of anchovy fillets and fry them along with the garlic and chili flakes.

Also, marinated artichokes, olives or sun-dried tomatoes will take this simple dish to the next level with a Mediterranean twist.

This is a tasty, inexpensive and one of the most crowd-friendly dishes for your last-minute parties, or just the thing when you get home late or don’t feel like cooking.

Simple food is the best.

And if you make this spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil ready in 10 minutes!
Print Recipe
4.97 from 31 votes

SPAGHETTI WITH GARLIC AND OLIVE OIL

Simple, fragrant and inexpensive, this spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is so good, cheap, satisfying and ready in a flash!
Recipe updated: originally posted in November 2018, I've tweaked the post adding more notes and new pictures.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil
Servings: 4
Calories: 693kcal
Author: Katia

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 grams) spaghetti, or other long pasta
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, or to taste (or 3 fresh chillies)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve (optional, if you don't keep it vegan)
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente: the spaghetti is soft but still has a little bite.
  • While the spaghetti is cooking make the sauce: If you don't use dried chili flakes, remove the seeds from the chilies and finely chop. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves.
  • Heat the olive oil gently in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chili and cook gently for a few minutes, or until the garlic is pale gold, which will be enough time for the flavorings to infuse the oil (take care not to burn it!). Stir in chopped parsley.
  • Drain the spaghetti still "al dente", reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
  • Add spaghetti to the frying pan, stir well to coat with the oil, add some starchy cooking water, as much as needed to ensure the pasta is moist and juicy*.
    Cook on medium heat for 30 seconds, stirring a couple of times.
  • Sprinkle the spaghetti with extra chopped parsley, and grated parmesan cheese if you don't keep it vegan. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Tips: Heating the garlic and chilli too much will send it bitter. Make sure the garlic doesn't get any darker than pale gold.
Cooking water: add pasta water gradually, you might not need all of it. You don't want to water down the flavor, but only make spaghetti nice and moist.
NOTE: Nutritional values are estimates only (the amount of calories doesn't include parmesan cheese).

Nutrition

Calories: 693kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 593IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
This humble and fragrant spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is a classic Italian pasta dish that requires a few cheap ingredients, little effort, and it’s ready in 10 minutes. #pastarecipes #easydinerrecipes #cheapdinners

79 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious! And healthy! I have made this several times since I found your recipe. May add anchovies next time. Thank you!

    1. I’m so happy you loved it, and I think anchovies add big flavor, totally delicious.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback, Janet! xx

  2. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight. I used olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes and roasted red peppers and did a combination to parmigiana and pecorino cheese and I used chopped arugula instead of parsley. Still pretty good. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Brilliant, I’m very happy it turned so good and thanks very much for sharing!
      Cheers xx

  3. 5 stars
    Brings back memories of being a broke-but-happy 20-something! I will gladly still eat this meal any day!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Susan! : )
      Thanks so much for your lovely feedback.
      Cheers x

  4. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I made it tonight and it was delicious. I used a little less garlic, but otherwise followed the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Brilliant, I’m so pleased to hear it turned out delicious! Thanks for your feedback. X

  5. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I made it tonight and it was delicious. I used a little less garlic, but otherwise followed the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s a lovely feedback, thanks so much Aman, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! : )

  6. 5 stars
    This is my go to recipe! I add the zest and juice of half a lemon plus some sauteed prawns at the end, once the pasta is mixed in. Such a good base for so many variations!

    1. I’m sure it turned out YUMMY! Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic feedback with us, Barb!
      Have a lovely weekend! x

  7. 5 stars
    Hello i added sundried tomatoes, onion chopped fine & mushrooms to mine
    Was just delicious with fresh parsley thank you 😊

    1. I’m sure it was delicious!! : )
      Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, so glad you liked it. xx

  8. Do you remove garlic if it is getting dark and then put spaghetti in?

    1. Hi Dan, the garlic should be just gold and fragrant to lend that garlic flavor to the dish.
      If it gets dark and bitter or if you remove it, the end result won’t be the same I’m afraid.
      Hope this helps. x

  9. Gary Davis says:

    5 stars
    I lived in New Orleans for ten years. My Italian friend’s mother made oil and garlic spaghetti. Really good. Her recipe was same as yours. In Costa Rica I had a pizza that had sauce, capers and anchovies. Have you ever made pizza like that? They called the spaghetti dish lurgya lurgya. That is probably misspelled.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Gary. I’ve never made pizza with garlic infused oil, anchovies and capers, but it sounds great! : )
      Have a lovely weekend. x

  10. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I added basil instead of parsley as well as capers, fresh tomatoes and a sprinkle of truffle oil. My daughter and I loved it!

    1. That sounds delicious, Steve! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, I’m so pleased you guys loved it!
      Have a great weekend. x

  11. Edna Haygood says:

    5 stars
    I added mushrooms and chopped spinach and it was delicious

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Edna… I”m glad you liked it : )
      Happy New Year! x

  12. Tammy Lehman says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight. I added 2 Tbsp anchovy paste. Delicious recipe without any cream!

    1. Fantastic! I’m so glad it turned out delicious, thanks for sharing your feedback, Tammy : )

  13. 5 stars
    Made last night with anchovies and capers outstanding

    1. That sounds delicious and packed with flavor, I love that variations : )
      Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Mike!

    2. Jeanette Lindquist says:

      Can I use whole wheat spaghetti?

    3. Absolutely! I often use whole wheat spaghetti with this recipe and I love it. : )

  14. 5 stars
    This dish turned out perfect . We added a small amount of broccoli as pee my daughter and the dush is a new staple in our home. Thanks so much for the recipe. It is a must do!

    1. I’m so glad! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Carrie.
      Have a lovely week. x

  15. 5 stars
    The very best recipe ever. My family absolutely loves it with the added anchovies!!! Grazie!!!

    1. I’m so happy, Maria! Thanks for sharing your lovely comment. : )
      Ciao! x

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