Pasta With Garlic and Cheese

Pasta with garlic and cheese recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
304 Calories
22g Fat
19g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 304
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 311mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Protein 9g
Calcium 260mg 20%
*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.)

This super simple recipe for pasta with garlic and cheese is almost not a recipe. It's kind of like a deconstructed pesto, using parsley instead of basil.

Of course, you can use basil if you'd like. I wouldn't recommend using this amount of oregano or thyme ​because that would overwhelm the dish. But lots of basil is delicious.

Whenever you cook pasta, it's important to have enough water. For a 1-pound box of pasta, use at least 4 quarts of water. The pasta should be able to move freely within the pot, so it doesn't stick together and so all of the noodles rehydrate evenly and at the same time.

It's also important to cook the pasta to "al dente"—a term Italians use to describe perfectly cooked pasta. It is tender but firm, with a slight bite. When you bite into the pasta, look at the center; there shouldn't be any white left, but you should see a shading to opaque in the middle of the strand.

This recipe has to be served immediately when it's cooked. To make it even better, heat the plates in the oven before you add the pasta (be sure to use oven-safe plates). Have the wine poured before you toss the pasta with the garlic mixture, and have a nice green salad on the table ready and waiting for you. The garlic toast should be in a napkin in a basket. Put the pasta on a heated serving plate and dig in.


  • 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese (grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pasta with garlic and cheese
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a handful of salt to season the water.

    Bring water to boil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add the pasta to the pot and stir. Cook the pasta according to package directions, stirring frequently, until al dente (to the tooth), which means the pasta is tender but still firm.

    Add pasta to the pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Chop the garlic and parsley.

    Chop garlic and parsley
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is fragrant.

    Heat olive oil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Combine the garlic and oil with the parsley and salt and pepper in a serving bowl.

    Combine garlic and parsley
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  7. Drain the pasta once it is done. A bit of pasta cooking water should still be clinging to the pasta once it is drained. This will help the sauce form. Immediately toss with the garlic-parsley mixture. Top with cheese and toss again. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.

    Drain pasta
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Enjoy.