Spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil)

I’m not feeling too great right now. I often sneeze, sometimes my nose is stuffy and I seem to fall asleep every time I sit on the couch to watch TV. Worse, yesterday, well, there’s this house a few meters from ours, it’s in its last stages of construction and it’s being painted. The strong winds brought the sickening smell of the paint’s solvent into our house and I felt even more sick. Speedy had to cook dinner last night.

When I woke up this morning, I felt a little better but still at less than my usual hundred per cent capacity. My taste buds didn’t seem affected though. There were a dozen things that I wanted to eat — from meat rolls to pasta. And I made them all. Meat rolls for lunch; and this spaghetti aglia e olio for dinner.

What is spaghetti aglia e olio? It’s the simplest, the most inexpensive and the easiest pasta dish to prepare. The classic Italian spaghetti aglia e olio has only three basic ingredients: pasta, olive oil and garlic. Salt is added for flavor; parsley is sprinkled for color and texture. There are only two steps in the preparation of the dish: boiling the pasta the tossing it in the olive oil in which the garlic had been browned. Let not the simplicity fool you though as the flavor and aroma are just awesome!

But, wait! That’s not all. While the basic spaghetti aglia e olio is already perfect by itself, you can also treat it as a base for other variations. To the basic pasta dish, you can add cooked shrimp, mussels or clams, or even crisp bacon bits!

Recipe: Spaghetti aglia e olio

Ingredients

  • 150 to 180 g. of spaghetti (or the usual amount you’d cook for four)
  • 4 tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsps. of minced garlic
  • salt, to taste
  • a handful of roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water. When I say salted water, I don’t mean water with a pinch of salt added to it. I mean, really salted water — like sea water.
  2. Meanwhile, while the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a pan.
  3. Spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil)
  4. Over medium heat, cook the garlic until lightly browned. Turn off the heat to prevent the garlic from browning too much.
  5. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the garlic and oil. Toss. Add the parsley and toss again. Taste the pasta. If it needs more salt, add more salt.
  6. The dish is complete at this point. This is the classic spaghetti aglia e olio and you can serve it right away. It is really, really tasty.
  7. However, if you’re feeling carnivorous…
  8. Spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil)
  9. You may toss some crisp bacon bits with the pasta.
  10. And if you feel that a pasta dish really needs cheese, top your bacon invigorated spaghetti aglio e olio with shaved cheese. Parmesan or pecorino are recommended.

Spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil)

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 12 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

  • Rush Dizon

    i just love pasta! especially if it’s easy to cook as counting 1, 2, 3! yummy!

    • Connie

      @Rush Dizon I’m trying to look out for more of these classic and simply Italian pasta dishes. A whole new world. :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/reginabeth Beatrize

    I very much want to try this recipe this weekend, kaya lang natawa naman ako when I read “150 to 180 g. of spaghetti (or the usual amount you’d cook for four)” or should I say, embarrassed, because for the 4 of us, the usual amount means “500 grams!” …

    I’m thinking of tossing in some beans and chopped mushrooms.

    Now I’m excited!

    Thanks!!

    • Connie

      @Beatrize 500 g. for 4? Really? hehehe When I cook a whole 225 g. pack, we can’t finish the pasta…

      Adding mushrooms is something I’d like to try too. Baby portobello or Swiss browns… :)

      • http://www.twitter.com/reginabeth Beatrize

        @Connie Cooked this just now, I added cubed carrots, yellow and brown beans. I hope hubby and my two teenagers will like them as much as I did (I had to taste it, so it ended up as my breakfast). Thanks!

        • Connie

          @Beatrize Oh I can just imagine all the lovely colors!

  • VincentTuason

    gagawin ko to later. puede ba regular oil? cost cutting kami ngayon. lol.

    • Connie

      @VincentTuason Naku, I’m not sure about regular oil. :(

      • VincentTuason

        @Connie@VincentTuason you are right, it doesnt taste good on a regular oil. buti we tested it first. ayun bumili ako ng maliit na bote ng olive oil. sarap with the bacon bits!

        • Connie

          @VincentTuason Olive oil has a flavor all its own. :)

  • http://www.northbysuouest.blogspot.com/ northbysudouest

    I have just come across your blog and love the simple dedication to home cooking. I agree, even if I am a chef, I am far more interested in the traditional home cooking that has been passed of for generations. I moved from the UK to France 3 years ago to take my own families traditional recipes to France and to learn first hand the home cooking of the people of South West France. You might like to read my food blog about my adventures. You can find it here…

    http://www.northbysudouest.blogspot.com

    Keep blogging! nbso

  • Disneykity82

    I will definitely try this dish.. it’s so easy. Tnx Ms. Connie.

  • natzsm

    Although very simple, this dish has become one of our family favorites. The final outcome of this dish is dependent on the quality of the olive oil one uses so do try using the finest quality extra virgin olive oil you could find.

    Truly, adding in bacon or even ham with a shaving of Parmesan cheese simply transforms this dish into heaven. We have also tried tossing in some pine nuts and chopped sun dried tomatoes and there was one time I eve threw in s few tablespoons of capers that have been sitting in my ref and the dish still came out fabulous!

  • Connie

    I really don’t recommend brands unless they make or break a dish.

  • Mila

    Hi Connie, I lived on this dish for a month in college (a large, 5 lb, bag of spaghetti; oil; patis; garlic. Thats all I had in my pantry for a month.). I would add a dash of patis to the oil/garlic for that extra hit of umami, which I didn’t know existed when I was in college. I just though having the patis made me less homesick.

    Belated holiday greetings from China!

  • Gracy

    i love italian food but hubby is always requesting for Pinoy food. but when I cooked my aglio olio, he will devour it with gusto. add a sprinkle of chili flakes too, nomnomnom!

  • diana

    this is a great, easy, and versatile recipe. I made mine with cut-up chorizo and anchovies. My bf loved it. thanks!

  • Sherry

    I accidentally came across your blog Ms Connie and I tried the Aglia e Olio and shared it with my friends. We all loved it. Tomorrow, I’ll be cooking it again since my friends are coming after our weekend run. I’m planning to add Tuna Flakes in Oil and Cheese. :)) Thanks for sharing these things. :)) It’s helpful to young ladies like me who’s trying to learn.

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      A welcome accident then? :)

  • Jean

    I think I’m going to have pasta tomorrow! =)

  • mckyne

    can i substitute flat parsley to spinach?ty

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      Why don’t you try and see if you like the result? :)

  • ling

    with my pasta aglio olio, i usually add crushed pepper flakes and/or spicy corned tuna with chopped parsely …

  • Elese Santino

    Oh howgoodthisis

  • Sheila Basbas

    Hi Connie. I made my own version of this, instead of fish sauce or salt, I added a little bagoong, some cheese on top and some thinly strips of green mangoes.my hubby and my girls, Gaby and Wafi loved it. :)

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      You know, we had something like that at a resto in Laoag City. :) A combination of green and ripe mangoes. Delicious!