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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a special dish in Italian food. It’s known for being simple yet bursting with taste. This classic pasta dish mixes spaghetti with top-notch olive oil, fresh garlic, and a bit of red pepper flakes.

This dish comes from the center of Italy. You can see it on menus in Rome and Naples. It’s simple to make at home, perfect for a quick dinner idea.

The key to great Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is the way you mix the pasta water with the olive oil. This makes the sauce silky. Traditionally, it has fresh peperoncini for a kick. But, using red pepper flakes works just as well.

You can change the recipe to fit your liking. Add more or less garlic and spices. You can also top it with parsley or Parmesan. However, these extras are not necessary.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Making Spaghetti Aglio e Olio tastes best with the right ingredients. Quality items make this vegetarian pasta dish amazing.

You need key things for spaghetti aglio e olio:

  • Spaghetti (you can try pasta substitutions like linguine or fettuccine)
  • Top-notch olive oil quality, go for extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic quantity: You usually use 4-8 cloves. Some choose 10-12 for more taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes are must. You can pick crushed red pepper alternatives depending on how much heat you want
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley adds a lot
  • Don’t forget a big grating of Parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti till it’s al dente. Keep a cup of pasta water. This water helps make the sauce smooth and shiny. Using the best ingredients changes this simple dish into something memorable.


To make the perfect Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, here’s what you do. First, get a big pot and fill it with salted water. Heat the water until it boils a lot. Next, cook the spaghetti until it’s almost soft, about 8-10 minutes.

While the spaghetti cooks, you can start the sauce. In a pan, warm up a lot of good olive oil on medium heat. Put in some thin garlic slices and a bit of red pepper flakes. Cook the garlic until it’s a light golden color. Be careful to not let it get too dark. Dark garlic can make your dish taste bitter.

When the spaghetti is nearly done, move it to the pan. Use tongs to do this. Some water from the spaghetti is good for the sauce, so don’t shake it all off. Then, put some of the starchy pasta water from the pot into the pan. Keep mixing the spaghetti with the sauce. This makes sure the sauce sticks well to the spaghetti. If the spaghetti looks too dry, add more pasta water slowly until it’s just right.

To finish, season your Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper. For a richer taste, add a bit of butter. Then, mix in some grated Parmesan cheese. Even though butter is not usually in this recipe, it makes the dish creamy. Serve your pasta right away. Enjoy the taste of Italy in every bite.

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.