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black plate of spaghetti, garlic and parsley with parmesan on a rattan charger.

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil (aglio e olio recipe)

The 10 minute dinner recipe you didn't know you needed. Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil is a rustic, simple meal that can be served for a quick weeknight dinner or a side dish with some of my Foolproof Chicken.
Course Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3


  • 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!


Pasta notes:
  • 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.
Garlic notes:
For more information on peeling garlic, visit my How to Make Roasted Garlic post.
Storage. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Reheat. To reheat, add some more olive oil to a heated skillet and toss in the pasta. Stir until warmed through. I'll sometimes add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen things up.
Freezer. It probably won't last long enough but I don't suggest freezing this recipe.