Picture of Pasta Aglio e Olio

This dish, made of three simple ingredients, is the ultimate comfort food and is ready in just 20 minutes. Made with just pasta, extra virgin olive oil, and a copious amount of garlic, its taste far exceeds the effort put forth to prepare it.

My brother and I used to beg my mom to make this dish when she complained there was nothing to make for dinner, or hardly enough time to prepare it. If there was anything we never ran out of in my house growing up, it was the ingredients for this meal: spaghetti, olive oil, and garlic. Over the years I’ve added a few more touches, but the dish itself evokes those same feelings of comfort it always has. This is one of my go-to comfort food meal and what I always prepare for my family if I am short on time and need to throw together something quickly.

Three Simple Ingredients

The key to a good meal is simplicity: allow the ingredients themselves to shine and the flavors to come through. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I always have.

Pasta Aglio e Olio

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10-12 cloves garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley


  1. Set a large pasta pot on high heat and bring water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add a generous amount of salt. Stir, and add in spaghetti.
  2. Slice garlic into fine, uniform pieces, as pictured. Do not mince the garlic, as it will cook too quickly and burn. In a large skillet, add the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  3. When the pasta has been cooking for about 8 minutes and is almost al dente, begin to cook the garlic and oil over a medium flame. Stir the garlic constantly so it does not stick to the pan while cooking. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
  4.  With a pasta scoop, remove the cooked spaghetti from the pot and add it to the skillet with garlic and oil. Turn the flame down to a low, and toss the pasta with the garlic and oil for about 2 minutes.
  5. Divide spaghetti into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.