Garlic Spaghetti (Spaghetti Aglio e Olio)

Spaghetti aglio olio (spaghetti with oil and garlic, Italy)

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  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
598 Calories
37g Fat
49g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 598
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 485mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 20g
Calcium 316mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Italy, this dish is known as spaghetti aglio e olio (which means "garlic" and "oil") and is by far that country's most popular pasta dish. If you grew up in an Italian-American home, chances are this garlic spaghetti was the first pasta recipe you ever tried.


  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • Salt (as needed)
  • 6 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (regular instead of strongly flavored extra-virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (highly recommend Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti, and cook according to the package directions.

  3. While the spaghetti is cooking, prepare the sauce. Add the garlic and olive oil to a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic begins to turn golden-brown. Be very careful to not overcook the garlic slices. If it gets too dark, it will become bitter.

  4. As soon as the garlic is to the perfect golden color, turn off the heat, and quickly add a 1/2 cup of the boiling pasta water, and swirl the pan to combine. The water will stop the garlic from browning any further in the olive oil.

  5. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain very well, DO NOT rinse, and transfer to a large warm pasta bowl.

  6. Pour over the olive oil and garlic mixture.

  7. Add the butter, pepper flakes, parsley, and two-thirds of the cheese. Toss until combined.

  8. Top with the rest of the cheese and serve immediately.

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