Such a simple pasta dinner! Follow this easy 10-minute recipe at home to make spaghetti with a flavorful garlic and olive oil pasta sauce(classic aglio e olio). It’s one of the best thin spaghetti recipes that can be served as a vegetarian main meal, or as a pasta side dish with my foolproof chicken breast recipe!
We talk a lot around here about building block recipes or "Little Black Dress" recipes. Things like Italian red sauce, garlic butter sauce for pasta, foolproof chicken...are from scratch pasta sauces and easy recipes that can be used as the LBD for a really great meal. This garlic and oil pasta (translated aglio e olio) is no different. The possibilities are endless with what you can pair it with!
Trust me, you're going to want to make it once a week.
Just get some good mouthwash.
⇢ Other easy pasta ideas for dinner: easy garlic and butter pasta sauce, this simple butter and cream sauce for pasta, and this viral on TikTok baked goat cheese pasta recipe. Or give my one pan sausage pasta a try ...you'll ♥️ all of 'em!
Why this recipe
First, let's clear something up. You might hear this recipe referred to as pasta aglio e olio (garlic and oil) or also aglio olio (garlic oil). Both work!
Now here's why this garlic and olive oil pasta sauce is so amazing:
- Quick. It's a 10 minute recipe. (And that almost includes cooking the pasta. Maybe not boiling the water but you get the idea.)
- Pow. The flavor is so authentic that you'll think you're in Italy.
- Versatile. You can add a little more lemon, a little more spice and, if you're so inclined, a little white wine.
The few ingredients you'll need
Your shopping list for this simple garlic spaghetti is a short one. This photo sums it all up:
- Good olive oil. One of my favorites is Olio Santo.
- Great pasta. I'm using the Barilla Thin Spaghetti.
- Fresh garlic. And lots of it!
- Seasonings. Crushed red pepper and salt/pepper.
- Fresh parsley
- Optional: white wine, lemon.
See recipe card below for quantities.
Ready to make some pasta noodles with garlic and olive oil?
Before you read this whole post (and don't worry if you choose to jump down to the recipe!), you could almost be eating dinner!
- Cook up some pasta or use some you have leftover. I promise not to tell!
- While the pasta is cooking, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and proceed to the instructions below.
- Slice/chop up all the cloves from one head of garlic. I know —it's a lot! But it needs to be there. Now isn't the time to be shy!
- Add the sliced garlic to your heated olive oil and allow it to become all happy. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add some crushed red pepper and let it become acquainted with the garlic. They will soon be fast friends!
- Add a couple of squeezes of lemon or some white wine if you like and let it all cook for a couple of minutes.
- Gently toss in your cooked pasta.
- Sprinkle over some fresh minced parsley.
1 average head of garlic = approximately 8-10 cloves-Josie + Nina
Add any or all of the following to make this spaghetti with garlic and olive oil sing:
- Sauteed mushrooms/peppers. Before adding the garlic to the oil, add some sliced mushrooms and peppers to add some more color and variety.
- Extra cheese. Crush up some feta cheese and you'll transport this recipe to Greece. Or heap on some fresh ricotta or burrata for a creamier texture.
- Seafood. Serve with some sauteed shrimp or scallops for an easy seafood pasta dish recipe.
I don't have any thin spaghetti! Can I use any kind of pasta?
💯 ! Any kind works although the twirlier the better. And be sure to serve it with a big spoon to get all the pieces of garlic. You won't want to miss that!
Can I make this with gluten-free pasta?
Sure thing! I might use a little extra olive oil as I haven't tested it with GF pasta so I am not sure how much it'll soak up the oil. It won't hurt a thing if you add some extra oil!
Help - I forgot to preserve some pasta water in case I needed it!
Relax! All good. Just add a little butter and a tablespoon of water and you'll be fine!
- Reserve some extra pasta water (about ½ cup). You might need it for to make a little extra sauce or to cool down the crushed red pepper.
- Serve as a side dish or a main course when nothing but a big bowl of pasta will do.
I used a large All-Clad skillet for this garlic oil spaghetti recipe. You can use anything that has a wide base in it. Non-stick may take a little longer to brown the way you want.
Serving & Storage
- Serve immediately after making for best results.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.
Feel free to make your pasta earlier in the day and then add it to the oil and garlic when you're ready to eat.
To reheat, heat a skillet with a little more oil and add in your pasta. If you have any reserved pasta water left, add some of that as well.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Made this recipe?
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10-Minute Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil (Aglio e Olio)
- 10-12" skillet
- ½ lb cooked thin spaghetti, reserve ½ cup of pasta water; I use Barilla pasta
- 1 head garlic with cloves separated, approximately 10-12 cloves
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
- ½ lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper , to taste
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
- splash of dry white wine, optional; as needed
- Peel and thinly slice garlic cloves. (see note below)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic to heated oil and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. You want the garlic to get golden brown not to burn.
- Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper and heat for 30 seconds. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice and the wine, if using. Heat for another two minutes or so.
- Using large tongs, toss cooked pasta in the skillet making sure to coat all the strands with the garlic-kissed oil.
- Sprinkle over the fresh parsley and parmesan to serve. Cue the singing angels!
- Cook pasta in plenty of salted water. You want it to be salty like the sea!
- Reserve ½ cup of pasta water to use (save it for the next day!) if you need to create more sauce or for reheating the next day.