Spaghetti in Garlic & Oil (Spaghetti Aglio e Olio)

Naples has historically been a less prosperous city in Italy. This dish from the region reflects that with just a few ingredients sourced locally- whatever was on hand. Albeit minimalist, those ingredients combine to create a dish that is not only loved everywhere in Italy but is a staple of Italian restaurants worldwide.

Italian Aglio e Olio spaghetti in olive oil and garlic

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio – Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil

This dish can be made in the time it takes to boil the spaghetti. It's a makes for a great weeknight meal or the premi (fist) coarse for a fancy Italian dinner. Be sure to use the best imported Italian spaghetti, extra-virgin olive oil, and pecorino-romano cheese you can find.
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Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Southern Italy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large pot
  • Large heavy skillet or wok
  • Colander


  • 1 lb Dried imported spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • cup Good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves Garlic, slivered
  • ½ tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Parsely, minced
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated for serving


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tbsp salt and spaghetti. Follow cooking directions on the box. Before draining, reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain and mix in a little olive oil to keep from sticking.
  • While spaghetti is finishing, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok big enough to hold the pasta. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes to turn it golden brown. Don't burn! Add red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds more. Add reserved pasta liquid and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, add salt, and simmer until liquid is reduced by a third.
  • Add spaghetti to skillet/wok and toss. Remove pan from heat and add parsley and Pecorino cheese. Mix thoroughly and let rest for 5 minutes to absorb the sauce. Adjust salt and serve warm with parmesan cheese on the side.


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 2822mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 213IU | Calcium: 342mg | Iron: 1mg

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