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Pasta Aglio e Olio Recipe

  • Author: Mirna Pena
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 mintues
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x


Super easy, quick, and full of garlic flavor this pasta is sure to become a family favorite.  Some olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and spaghetti and dinner will be ready before you know it! 


  • 250 grams of pasta dry
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt or to taste (for the pasta water)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil good quality
  • ½ cup minced garlic (55g) or a whole head of garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¾ cup reserved pasta water
  • Shredded parmesan cheese  for topping (optional)


  1. Boil some water in a pot big enough to fit your pasta. Properly salt your pasta water.
  2. When your water comes to a boil add the pasta. Boil according to the box instructions.
  3. While your pasta cooks, mince your garlic and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil to a pan on low heat.
  5. Add garlic and pepper flakes to the olive oil and keep on low. You will see it start to bubble. When this starts happening, make sure to keep stirring every 30-45 seconds making sure the garlic is not burning or turning brown. Once that happens it will be bitter.
  6. After about 10 min on low heat, add your reserved pasta water to the olive oil/garlic to stop the cooking process and stop it from burning.
  7. Bring back up to a simmer and add your spaghetti noodles. Toss around until well coated about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Taste for salt and add 1/2 a teaspoon, if needed, mix and taste again. Add more as needed.
  9. Turn off the flame.
  10. Enjoy with some grilled chicken and parmesan cheese, or proteins of your choosing. 


Adding the salty cooking water will season the sauce since so we need to be careful when adding more salt.

The sauce will thicken up with the pasta starches so don’t rinse the pasta.