(also known as Spaghetti Aglio Olio, or Spaghetti et Aglio e Olio)

Spaghetti with garlic and oil. A good comfort food, and very simple and enjoyable. Because it's so simple, the quality of the ingredients causes a big variation in taste. I think fresh garlic is necessary, and only butter - not a margarine.

There are various versions of it, differing in minor ways, I'll try to mention what I know.

1 pound Spaghetti
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 dried Red Pepper or 1 dried Chili pepper
Cloves of Garlic to taste - some say 1 or 2, others 6 or 7
Lots of Parmesan Cheese - about 1/2 cup works well
Optional: 2 Tbsp butter
Optional: 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

Boil salted water for the spaghetti, and cook according to package directions. Add the oil to a saucepan, and if you're using butter, melt the butter into the oil. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and the pepper. Some recipes call for browning the garlic, others don't - I don't do it. About 2 minutes before the pasta is done, warm the oil again.

When the pasta is done, drain. Add the oil mixture. Toss well. Then add the parmesan cheese, and parsley if you're using it. Toss well. Serve immediately.

Go To: Cookery : Recipes, alphabetical : P to T
Go To: Cookery : Recipes, categorised : Main Dishes : Pasta
Go To: Cookery : Recipes, regional : Italy

This dish, with its simplicity, verges on the sublime. If done correctly, it will bring great joy and happiness to you and the people you share it with.

The secret to this dish is to infuse the olive oil with the garlic. Start by coarsely mincing about 5 or 6 garlic cloves, more if you like. Then, using a garlic press, press the garlic into a sauce pan. Pressing the garlic will release the juices, allowing the flavors to diffuse throughout the oil.


Pour olive oil into the sauce pan, enough to cover the bottom and all the garlic. Err on the side of more oil, since any excess oil will magically stay in the sauce pan anyway. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture stand while you cook the spaghetti, allowing the flavors to meld.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. The water MUST BE SALTED!. Don't ruin the dish by not salting the water.


Place the spaghetti in the boiling water. Usually, a pound of dry spaghetti feeds four. A portion of the spaghetti may stick out of the water. As the spaghetti softens, coax the part that is sticking out underwater.

Don't abandon the spaghetti. Separate the noodles from one another. Once you have assured yourself that the noodles are not sticking to each other, let it be. Cooking time is about 9-11 minutes, depending on the variety. Don't overcook the noodles.

Drain the noodles using a colander. As the noodles drain, heat the olive oil and garlic on high, bringing the garlic to a boil, stirring as you go. This will mellow the flavor of the garlic. Be sure not to burn the garlic. Turn off the heat and add the noodles. Mix so the oil covers the noodles. Serve using spaghetti tongs, this will leave any excess oil in the pan.

Top generously with grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Serve with an chilled dry Italian white wine, one that will complement the spiciness of the dish. For example a Pinot Grigio. And, bread.

Makes my mouth water, just thinking about it.

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