A Classic Italian Delight: Pasta Aglio e Olio Recipe

A Classic Italian Delight: Pasta Aglio e Olio Recipe

Pasta Aglio e Olio, a simple yet flavorsome Italian dish, has been a staple in kitchens around the world for generations. Translating to “garlic and oil,” this timeless recipe showcases the essence of Italian cooking – where a handful of quality ingredients come together to create a dish greater than the sum of its parts. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you recreate this classic pasta dish in your own kitchen.

A Classic Italian Delight: Pasta Aglio e Olio Recipe


  • 400g spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for serving)

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  1. Boil the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions or until al dente. Remember to reserve a cup of pasta cooking water before draining.
  2. Sauté the Garlic:
    • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté the garlic until it becomes golden brown and aromatic, taking care not to burn it.
  3. Infuse the Flavors:
    • Lower the heat and let the garlic infuse the oil for a couple of minutes. The gentle heat allows the oil to absorb the rich garlic flavor without turning bitter.
  4. Add the Cooked Pasta:
    • Once the pasta is al dente, transfer it directly from the pot to the pan with the garlic-infused oil. Toss the pasta to coat it evenly with the flavorful oil.
  5. Adjust the Consistency:
    • If the pasta seems a bit dry, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water gradually. This starchy water helps create a silky and cohesive sauce that clings to the pasta.
  6. Season and Garnish:
    • Season the dish with salt to taste. Add freshly chopped parsley, tossing it into the pasta for a burst of freshness and color.
  7. Serve and Garnish:
    • Plate the pasta and drizzle a bit more olive oil if desired. For an extra touch, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over the top before serving.
  8. Enjoy!
    • Serve your Pasta Aglio e Olio immediately while it’s hot. The simplicity of this dish allows the natural flavors to shine, making it a delightful and satisfying meal.

Tips and Variations:

  • For added richness, toss in a handful of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese along with the parsley.
  • Experiment with different pasta shapes to give the dish a unique twist.
  • If you enjoy seafood, consider adding sautéed shrimp or clams for a seafood-infused variation.

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Pasta Aglio e Olio exemplifies the beauty of uncomplicated Italian cuisine, where a handful of high-quality ingredients can create a dish that is both comforting and elegant. With this straightforward recipe, you can bring the authentic flavors of Italy to your table, proving that sometimes, the simplest dishes are the most memorable. Buon appetito!