Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil (Aglio e Olio)

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil, also known in Italian as Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a simple pasta dish made with only 4 ingredients.  It’s quick, easy, and ready to serve in 15 minutes. Perfect for a quick pasta night any day of the week.

 

 A blue and white plate with Spaghetti twirled in the center and fresh basil on top.

The Simple Garlic and Olive Oil Sauce…

If you haven’t heard of this dish yet, then you are in for a real treat! It’s nothing fancy, but a simple dish that tastes amazing every time you’re hungry and need a quick meal to whip up.

Fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil are the main ingredients for this sauce.

Both the extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic provide a rich, aromatic flavor, while the fresh Italian parsley adds a touch of freshness to the dish. It is so good, and a nice change from having spaghetti with a jarred sauce or any red sauce like our mom’s quick marinara sauce.

Our entire family loves this spaghetti dish!

Italians love to cook simple meals with minimal ingredients. For as long as we could remember, this was our mom’s “go-to” dish whenever we were hungry and wanted something to eat.

Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is a common dish in Italy and it is so delicious and so quick to whip up – it’s amazing!

A blue and white plate with spaghetti twirled in the center with fresh basil on top.

How to Make This Spaghetti Dish?

Our recipe for Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil is made with 2 easy steps!

1. First, you begin cooking the spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water. At the same time, make the sauce: in a small saucepan or small pot, start sautéing the garlic and olive oil sauce for about 1 minute, then toss in the freshly chopped parsley.

2. Second, reserve some of the salty boiling water, about 2/3 cup. Then when the spaghetti is ready, drain and toss the pasta together with the garlic and olive oil sauce.  Topped with additional sprinkle of fresh parsley or basil. Then serve!

QUICK NOTE: The only thing you will need is some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table when serving; but for additional flavor, we prefer pecorino cheese with this dish.

 

A blue and white plate with spaghetti twirled in the center of the plate.

 

How is the Garlic and Oil Sauce Made?

  • First, the key to making this simple sauce is using some “salted water” when cooking the spaghetti.  So you will need to reserve some of it before draining the pasta.
  • Next, it is added to the garlic and olive oil mixture.
  • Finally, this simple technique creates “the sauce” without adding any additional ingredients.  And, it works every time. 😉

 

(*Full recipe card below!)

Ingredients for Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil (Spaghetti Aglio e Olio!)

  • 1 pound of Spaghetti (Barilla or Garofalo, or whole-grain)

  • 1/2  cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 5 large garlic cloves – sliced in halves, or 6 to 8 medium cloves

  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (about one handful)

  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2/3 cup of boiling salted water (taken from the pot that is boiling the spaghetti )

  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for serving

  • optional: fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Easy to Follow Directions:

1.  In a large pot of water, add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water and bring it to a boil.  Add spaghetti to the boiling water—cook the spaghetti for about 6 minutes for al dente ( tender to the bite). Be sure to not overcook the pasta.

2.  In the meantime, pour 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil into a small quart-size pot on low heat.  Gently heat and add the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is golden, but not brown.

A small pot with olive oil and garlic and red pepper flakes cooking on stovetop.

3.  Immediately turn off the heat, and remove the pot from the burner. The hot oil will continue to brown the garlic.

4.  Toss in fresh parsley while it’s still very hot and cover with a lid.  This will infuse the flavor of parsley without burning it.

5.  Then grab a measuring cup, carefully scoop up  2/3 cup of the boiling salted water from the pot cooking the spaghetti, and pour it into the oil mixture.  Set aside.

A small pot filled with oil, garlic and fresh parsley cooking on stovetop.

6.  Drain the spaghetti when ready.  Place the spaghetti back into the large pot and pour the garlic and oil mixture into the spaghetti.  Turn the heat back on low and simmer while stirring the spaghetti for 1 minute.  This will allow the flavors to get absorbed into the spaghetti.

A pot filled with olive and parsley is poured into the pot with cooked spaghetti.

7.  Serve spaghetti in individual pasta bowls.  Serve with fresh cracked black pepper and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.  Buon Appetito!

Serves 4 to 6

Questions & Answers…

  1. How is the Sauce made? First, the key to making this simple sauce is using some “salted water” when cooking the spaghetti.  So you will need to reserve some of it before draining the pasta. Then its added the oil mixture. Finally, this simple technique creates “the sauce” without adding any additional ingredients.  And, it works every time. 😉
  2. What kind of olive oil do you recommend? For optimal flavor in the sauce, use the highest quality of extra virgin olive oil. Make sure it says on the bottle “Product of Italy” (not packed in Italy). Otherwise, they are “mixed oils” from different countries, and mixed oils have NO flavor.
  3. Can we use a different kind of pasta? Yes you can! Try using whole-grain pasta, or even gluten-free.  At times we like mixing both kinds of pasta so the kids won’t notice that they’re eating something healthier.
a blue and white plate with cooked spaghetti twirled in the center and fresh basil on top, with grated cheese on the plate.

There’s nothing like a bowl of pasta for an easy dinner or for meatless nights. Pasta is comfort food in all seasons.

Try this recipe, you won’t be disappointed.

ENJOY!!

Additional Quick & Easy Pasta Recipes!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil (Ready in 15 minutes!)

A blue and white plate with spaghetti twirled in the center with fresh basil on top.

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil is an Italian dish made with only 4 ingredients and it is served with grated Parmesan cheese on top. A quick and easy dish that;s ready in 15 minutes, and very satisfying!  

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Spaghetti (Barilla or Garofalo, or whole-grain spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 large garlic cloves - sliced in halves, or 6 to 8 medium cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (about one handful)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup of boiling salted water (taken from the pot that is boiling the spaghetti )
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for serving
  • optional: fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of water, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and bring to boil. Add spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook the spaghetti for about 6 minutes for al dente. (do not overcook the pasta).
  2. In the meantime, in a small quart size pot, and on low heat, pour 1/2 cup of olive oil. Gently heat and add garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is golden, but not brown.
  3. Immediately turn off the heat, and remove the pot from the burner. The hot oil will continue to brown the garlic.
  4. Toss in fresh parsley while it's still very hot and cover with a lid. This will infuse the flavor of parsley without burning it.
  5. Then grab a measuring cup, and carefully scoop up 2/3 cup of boiling salted water from the pot cooking the spaghetti, and pour into the oil mixture. Set aside.
  6. Drain the spaghetti when ready. Place the spaghetti back into the large pot and pour garlic and oil mixture into the spaghetti. Turn the heat back on low and simmer while stirring the spaghetti for 1 minute. This will allow the flavors to get absorbed into the spaghetti.
  7. Serve spaghetti into individual pasta bowls. Serve with fresh cracked black pepper and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.
  8. Serves 4 to 6

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 18.6gCarbohydrates: 44.2gProtein: 9.2g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

In case you missed it…

Most Popular Recipes of the Week:

That’s it friends!  Are you cooking and baking with us?  If you make our favorite pasta with garlic and oil, let us know and leave a comment with a star rating on our recipe card!

Happy Cooking! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

xo Anna and Liz

 
anna and liz selfie

Welcome! From Anna and Liz

We believe the kitchen is the center and the heart of the home. It is where we cook, eat, and unwind with family and friends, creating memorable traditions! Read more…

Sign Up For Our Email List

Something delicious for your inbox! Subscribe and join our email list and get all our recipes FREE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 Comments

  1. Excellent approach. Only changes we’ve made are: Add sea salt to sauce when adding pasta water. (It doesn’t dissolve in oil.) Add more sea salt to taste when serving. We’ve found it needs an addition small pinch.

    1. Thanks so much, Todd! Welcome to our website, it’s very nice to meet you. Glad you enjoyed this recipe, and as always, w mention tasting and adjusting the seasonings if needed. Hope you will continue to look around our site and find additional recipes to try. Enjoy and Happy cooking!