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garlic and olive oil pasta

Garlic Olive Oil Pasta / Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

A simple classic pasta dish of garlic and olive oil that requires a few ingredients and half an hour or less to deliver dinner.
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Ken


  • 1 pound of Spaghetti
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh Basil Leaves - torn in to small pieces


  1. Start by boiling the water for the spaghetti.
  2. Grab a large skillet or pan and place it on the stovetop. Slice the garlic cloves lengthwise very thinly, and put it in the center of the pan. Measure out the red pepper flakes add them on top of the garlic. Add half the olive oil right over the pepper flakes and garlic.
  3. Once the pasta water is at a boil, salt the water. Add the pasta and cook. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick together. Cook till just about al-dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, heat the skillet on medium and let the garlic, pepper flakes slowly cook in the oil. You might want to spread out the garlic so it cooks evenly, but not so much so it doesn't burn. It is going to start smelling really good, with the garlic softening and it starting to sizzle. Remove the heat from the pan till the pasta is finished cooking.
  5. Test the doneness of the pasta. Once it is almost al-dente, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain the water and add the pasta directly to the pan.
  6. Place the heat to medium and add around 3/4 of a cup of the starchy pasta water, tossing to combine. Add a teaspoon of salt, toss and cook for a couple of minutes, until the water is almost gone. Add the torn basil leaves over top and the remainder of the olive oil and give a quick toss to evenly distribute the oil and basil. Remove from heat and Serve.