Spaghetti Aglio e Olio: A Simple and Flavorful Italian Pasta Dish

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, which translates to “spaghetti with garlic and oil,” is a classic Italian pasta dish known for its simplicity and delicious flavors. Made with just a handful of ingredients, including garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and parsley, this dish is quick and easy to prepare yet incredibly satisfying. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or a cozy meal at home.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces (225g) spaghetti
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
  • Additional olive oil, for drizzling


1. Cook the Spaghetti:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the spaghetti and set it aside.

2. Sauté the Garlic:

  • While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden brown and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.

3. Combine the Spaghetti and Garlic Oil:

  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the garlic oil. Toss well to coat the spaghetti evenly with the oil. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

4. Season and Garnish:

  • Season the spaghetti aglio e olio with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Stir in the chopped fresh parsley and toss everything together until well combined.

5. Serve:

  • Divide the spaghetti aglio e olio among serving plates or bowls. If desired, sprinkle each serving with grated Parmesan cheese and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve spaghetti aglio e olio as a standalone dish or alongside a simple green salad and crusty bread for a complete meal.
  • Pair with a glass of crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, for a refreshing accompaniment.

Cooking Tips:

  • For extra flavor, you can add a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes or cooked shrimp to the skillet along with the garlic and red pepper flakes.
  • Be sure to cook the garlic over gentle heat to prevent it from burning and becoming bitter.
  • Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor in this dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Quick and Easy: With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a delicious pasta dish on the table in no time.
  • Satisfying and Flavorful: Despite its simplicity, spaghetti aglio e olio is bursting with flavor from the garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes.
  • Versatile: This dish can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Add your favorite ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, olives, or anchovies, to make it your own.


Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a timeless Italian pasta dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or entertaining guests, this simple yet flavorful dish is sure to impress. Enjoy the delicious combination of garlic-infused olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley in every bite of this classic pasta favorite!

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