Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

Today we’re sharing a recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. This delicious recipe is a quick and easy family favorite.

What is Spaghetti Aglio E Olio?

It is a classic Italian dish made with spaghetti, sautéed garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes, and chopped Italian parsley.  A touch of freshly grated parmesan cheese can be sprinkled on top too. 

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio is one of the quickest and easiest pasta dishes you can make.  When you are too tired to even think about what to fix for dinner, this is a dish that comes together very quickly.  It is also a great dish to make if you have leftover spaghetti noodles from a previous meal.

This pasta dish can be eaten on its own or as a side dish.  Make it a complete meal by adding a protein or meat of your choice and either incorporate it into the pasta or serve it on the side. This pasta is a big comfort food that is so simple and quick to prepare.  You will truly ask yourself why you never thought to make it sooner.

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio (Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil)

Spaghetti tossed in sauteed garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley. A quick and easy authentic pasta dish!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Italian Pasta Dish, Pasta Dish, Spaghetti, Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
Author Sunup to Sundown


  • 1 lb spaghetti (your choice of spaghetti pasta)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil (may use 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
  • 6 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper, freshly-ground
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, fresh (if using dried, add 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt to the pot. Stir the spaghetti into the boiling water. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, watching carefully so the garlic doesn't burn. Once the garlic is softened, remove from heat and add red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.

  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of pasta water. This water is salty and starchy and adds flavor to the sauce.

  4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and then toss with the garlic and olive oil mixture. Toss with parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Salt according to taste. If you like spicy foods, add a touch more red pepper flakes.

Recipe Notes

If using leftover pasta, you might need to cut this recipe in half as you don’t typically have a whole box of pasta leftover.  Then you will complete the second step of sauteing garlic in oil and add red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.  You will then add your cold pasta to the pan and toss in the hot garlic oil mixture to heat through.  Add some water to the pan if needed.  Once heated through, remove from heat and add your Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.   

This is one of our go-to pantry recipes because you just about always have everything on hand.  Even if you don’t have fresh garlic you can use minced or granulated and if you don’t have fancy Parmesan cheese you can just use the powdered kind.  Don’t beat yourself up and just use what you have on hand, it will turn out great no matter what.  You can change it up and saute the garlic in half extra-virgin olive oil and half butter.  The butter give it some extra rich flavor.

We’d love to hear what you think about the recipe.  Please give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.  Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown!  We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.  Please subscribe, like or share this post with others who could benefit from it.

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