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Pasta Aglio E Olio (Spaghetti with Oil and Garlic)

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This ultimate tasting Pasta Aglio E Olio is one of the simplest yet most delicious pasta dishes hailing from the land of pasta — the beautiful country of Italy. It is best served warm with crusty garlic bread, and wine. 

a female holding pasta aglio e olio served in a grey plate

The name of this pasta is in Italian language, which translates to Aglio (=Garlic) E (=and) Olio (=Oil) in English.

A couple of easily accessible pantry ingredients and 25 minutes of your time is all you need to make one of the most satisfying pasta dishes on the earth. 

In about just a few minutes you can serve satiating pasta loaded with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley, lemon juice and a hint of crushed red pepper. As it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, it makes a delightful weeknight dinner.

There are some particular dishes that you don’t want to mess up, and pasta aglio e olio is certainly one of them. Because the beauty of this cheese-free pasta lies in its simplicity. The aroma of the olive oil and garlic is the star of this scrumptious pasta.

If you’ve never relished a simple yet appetizing pasta, then I recommend you try this pasta aglio e olio which is nothing fancy but yet too exotic. 

This is because here spaghetti is cooked with plenty of olive oil, garlic, parsley, and pepper flakes. A spoonful of this garlicky pasta would take your tastebuds on a journey to an Italian town. 

pasta aglio e olio in a pan

What is pasta aglio e olio?

Pasta Aglio E Olio, also known as Spaghetti Aglio E Olio is Italian comfort food at its very best. This amazingly delicious pasta recipe is jammed with just the right amount of richness from olive oil and garlicky flavor which is not too overwhelming. 

In this dish, garlic and red pepper flakes are slowly warmed and then sautéed in olive oil. This way the oil gets intense garlicky flavors without burning and crisping garlic.  

It is believed that this pasta dish is created by an Italian farmer who had nothing fancy but the most basic Italian ingredients on hand.

pasta aglio e olio served in a white plate

This pasta aglio e olio:

✓  is simple, and quick.

✓  makes a perfect weeknight dinner.

✓  is made with simple ingredients.

✓  easy to make, delicious to eat.

✓  is one of the simplest kinds of pasta.

What are the ingredients used in pasta aglio e olio?

Pasta aglio e olio is made using a couple of basic ingredients from the pantry. Just combine the ingredients below and you will end up with the most gratifying and delicious pasta ever. These ingredients are:

  • Dry Spaghetti
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Chili Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper
pasta aglio e olio served in grey plate along with toasted bread and wine glass

How to serve pasta aglio e olio?

Pasta aglio e olio tastes out of the world, so you can serve pasta aglio as it is. I personally like to serve it along with toasted garlic bread and red wine.

Meal ideas to serve with pasta aglio e olio:

Meal idea 1: Pasta Aglio E Olio, Juicy Watermelon Pizza, Puff Pastry Cheese and Pesto Swirls

Meal idea 2:  Pasta Aglio E Olio, Pizza Dough Twists with Parsley, Greek Style Chickpea Salad 

**Meal idea 3:  **Pasta Aglio E Olio, Cheesy Garlic Pizza Sticks with Figs Dip, Apple Cucumber Mozzarella Pearls Salad

Meal idea 4: pasta aglio e olio, Caramelized Peach Pesto Tart, Black Gram Sprouts Salad with Oven Toasted Garlic Baguette

overhead shot of pasta aglio e olio in a steel pan

How to make pasta aglio e olio?

Making the perfect restaurant-grade pasta aglio e olio at home is fairly simple. You don’t need many ingredients and you don’t need to know some extraordinary cooking skills. The secret to tailoring some basic ingredients into a sensational dish lies in how you deal with them. 

If you know how to boil and sauté, then you can easily recreate this exquisite pasta recipe at home at any time. Following are the simple steps to make pasta aglio e olio: 

Step 1: Slice garlic and chop parsley.

Step 2: Salt the water and give it a boil. Add pasta and cook it according to package ingredients until al dente. Drain, reserving the pasta water.

Step 3: Heat olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add sliced chili pepper and crushed red pepper. Stir until garlic is softened and lightly browned from the edges.

Step 4: Add pasta water and cooked pasta. Toss well. Add freshly chopped parsley and toss to coat well. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Remove from heat, and drizzle with lemon juice and toss again. 

Step 5: Twist pasta using a carving fork and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes. Serve warm!

Check out the detailed written recipe in the recipe box on this page.

overhead closeup shot of pasta aglio e olio

Tips and variations to make your best Italian Pasta Aglio E Olio at home:

  1. I have added deseeded chili pepper to this recipe, but that is completely optional. It adds a nice spice and gives a beautiful color contrast to the pasta. So if you don’t like chili pepper then you can surely skip it. 
  2. This is a cheeseless pasta, so I do not add any cheese here. Just the way they make it in Italy. This pasta is creamy without any cheese because you get the desired creamy texture from the concoction of olive oil and pasta water. So you won’t really miss any cheese here. However, if you are a die-hard cheese lover, then you can surely go overboard and add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the pasta. It tastes delicious.
  3. Always add garlic to the cold olive oil, this way oil absorbs the garlicky aroma and tastes more delicious. 
  4. Sauté garlic only over low heat until the edges are slightly brown. Do not burn the garlic, or else the pasta would taste bitter. 
  5. The pasta is silky but not too not oily, because I have added about 1/4 cup of olive oil. But you can surely increase the amount of olive oil. For this much pasta, you can use up to 1/2 cup of olive oil.
  6. Always cook pasta till al dente which is tender yet firm to bite. So when you add the starchy pasta water to the oil mixture it turns into a creamy and flavorful sauce. And when the pasta gets cooked with pasta water and oil mixture, it absorbs all the awesome flavors and creaminess. 
closeup shot of pasta aglio e olio serve in a white plate

Pasta Aglio E Olio (Spaghetti with Oil and Garlic) [RECIPE]

In about just a few minutes you can serve satiating pasta loaded with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley, lemon juice and a hint of crushed red pepper. As it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, it makes a delightful weeknight dinner.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (Rating: 5 from 2 reviews)

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for Pasta E Olio:

• 14 ounces (400 grams) dry spaghetti or linguine
• 6 tablespoons olive oil (or more if you like)
• 5-6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
• 1 chili pepper sliced (optional)
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or as per taste)
• 1/2 cup parsley, rinsed and finely chopped
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

🕐 Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time
☶ Category ♨ Cuisine ☺ Serves
Main Italian 5-6

Nutrition Info: 379 calories // Servings: 1 serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make Pasta Aglio E Olio:

  1. Generously salt a large pot of water and bring it to boil over high heat.
  2. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. At this point, pasta is tender but slightly undercooked which is firm to bite. This takes about 8-9 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving 3/4 cup or less of the cooking water.
  4. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan over low heat.
  5. Add sliced garlic to the cold oil and sauté on low heat for 4 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
  6. Add sliced chili pepper and sauté for a minute.
  7. Next, add red pepper flakes and sauté until garlic is tender and turn lightly golden on the edges. (Do not burn it.)
  8. Turn the heat to medium and add 3/4 cup of pasta water and stir well.
  9. Next, add drained pasta and toss well.
  10. Add chopped parsley and mix well to combine.
  11. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Gently toss to coat again.
  12. Turn off the heat and drizzle with lemon juice.
  13. Using a carving fork, twist pasta into a sumptuous spiral and transfer into large serving bowls. Serve along with garlic toasted bread.

NOTES:

I have added deseeded chili pepper to this recipe, but that is completely optional. It adds a nice spice and gives a beautiful color contrast to the pasta. So if you don't like chili pepper then you can surely skip it.
2. This is a cheeseless pasta, so I do not add any cheese here. Just the way they make it in Italy. This pasta is creamy without any cheese because you get the desired creamy texture from the concoction of olive oil and pasta water. So you won't really miss any cheese here. However, if you are a die-hard cheese lover, then you can surely go overboard and add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the pasta. It tastes delicious.

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