Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Chef John 15896

"No two spaghetti aglio e olio recipes are alike, but this one is pretty true to the classic method. The key is slowly toasting the garlic slices to a perfect golden-brown in the olive oil. If it's too light, you don't get the full flavor and if it's too dark it gets bitter. My advice? Do it perfectly."

Ingredients 32 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 1509 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 2 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 1509 kcal
  • 75%
  • Fat:
  • 69 g
  • 106%
  • Carbs:
  • 174.8g
  • 56%
  • Protein:
  • 45.8 g
  • 92%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 35 mg
  • 12%
  • Sodium:
  • 632 mg
  • 25%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

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  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a pasta bowl.
  2. Combine garlic and olive oil in a cold skillet. Cook over medium heat to slowly toast garlic, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low when olive oil begins to bubble. Cook and stir until garlic is golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt into the pasta. Pour in olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle on Italian parsley and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; stir until combined.
  4. Serve pasta topped with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • It's not traditional, but for extra richness add 1 tablespoon of butter when you toss with the cheese.
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Reviews 63

  1. 79 Ratings

What's for dinner, mom?

This is one of the first dishes my Italian MIL taught me to make! She told me this was an important dish to know as it is tasty, very economical and you can clean out the fridge using up leftovers. Boy was she right! It is GREATt just as is.. all on its own. During the summer, when our garden is overflowing, I sometimes add some grape tomatoes, eggplant or some zucchini and my favorite - fresh basil! I have made this using leftover chicken cutlets I diced up and made my food budget stretch a little farther. Be sure to watch the garlic cooking time and be aware that there is some cooking water from the pasta that is to be added to the garlic when it is finished browning. It is mentioned in the video and my MIL made SURE I knew to do that as it adds necessary moisture to the sauce. I use at least a full ladle as I like it a bit more moist. NOTE: add the water slowly to avoid splattering! I made this last night and I added a cup of diced grape tomatoes and some crumbled bacon and topped with shredded fresh spinach. Perfect summer meal. My favorite is using sun dried tomatoes, spinach and fresh mozzarella. Can't go wrong with this recipe!


I love this preparation for spaghetti. I used to the recipe from The Mediterranean Diet, and made it for years. I have adapted this recipe with elements of that one. For example, I add the parsley and chili flakes to the oil after the garlic has browned, and then also add a ladle of spaghetti water as it's cooking. I usually forgo the cheese, simply because it's expensive back home in Canada and not readily available here in Tanzania. In place of it, I fancy it up with vegetables, either a handful of long green beans or asparagus. Both add a wonderful oomph to the dish. I add the veg once the garlic has browned, but before the pasta water.

Baking Nana

This is so good and so easy! If you watch the video he has you add a half ladle of pasta water to the OO-garlic saute pan. This is important and is missing from the recipe. This stops the garlic from over cooking and getting bitter and it also adds that extra moisture to the sauce. I usually reserve some pasta water 'just in case'. This recipe says it serves 4 but as a side dish ( which I did) it would easily serve 8 or even more. I served this with sauteed green beans with prosciutto and Barber Chicken, Parmesan. (I know, cheating but it was really good!) Enjoy!