Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe

How to Make the Tastiest Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Italian cuisine is about simplicity, and this spaghetti Aglio e Olio proves that even the simplest ingredients can become something extraordinary. This recipe originates from Naples, Italy, and translates to spaghetti with garlic and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which are the main ingredients.

Add to this a little kick from the dried chilli and a very pleasant hint of garlic that’s not overpowering but instead, creamy. You can really taste all the key ingredients with every spoonful.

The trick is to toast garlic low and slow to flawless, golden-brown perfection in EVOO. Too light, and you miss out on the full spectrum of garlicky flavors; if you burn it, bitterness creeps in, and of course, no one wants it!

Watch the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio video recipe:


How to Make the Most Tasty SPAGHETTI AGLIO e OLIO Ever   

Best Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips For The Best Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

A Garlic Crusher is a Must

Invest in a good-quality garlic crusher. Crushing garlic releases its essential oils and produces more of an intense flavor instead of chopping. It’s the secret to mastering that delicious garlic infusion.

Anchovies for Umami

If you’re an umami lover, consider adding finely chopped anchovies to the pan while sautéing the garlic. They melt beautifully into the sauce, providing a salty umami depth that elevates the dish.

Go Bold with Garlic

Adjust the amount of garlic to suit your taste. If you want an extra garlic flavour , feel free to toss in an extra clove

Pasta Water is your Best Friend

Don’t skip the step of reserving pasta water before draining your spaghetti. This starchy liquid is your best friend for creamy, silky AGLIO e OLIO sauce. It helps bind the ingredients together, ensuring every pasta strand is coated in flavor.

The Art of Emulsion

Creating a creamy emulsion without cream is crucial. Be patient while combining the pasta water, EVOO, and other ingredients. Vigorously shake and stir the pan to achieve that smooth, thickened sauce.

Lemon Zest

For Mediterranean flair, you might opt to zest a lemon and sprinkle it over your finished dish. It adds a delightful citrusy note that balances the richness of EVOO and garlic. While not traditional it can add another element to the dish.

Budget-Friendly Twist

Instead of cheese for garnish, try sprinkling toasted breadcrumbs over your spaghetti Aglio e Olio. It adds crunch and is also a good option for anyone lactose/dairy intolerant or to keep the dish vegan.

Keep a Close Eye on Garlic

When sautéing garlic, be vigilant. It can quickly turn from golden to burnt. Aim for that glowing golden hue and garlic-infused olive oil scent.

How to Make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

How To Serve Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

To serve this easy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, plate generous portions of cooked spaghetti. Collect the flavorful sauce from the pan and drizzle it over the pasta. Add a final touch of freshly chopped parsley and, if desired, sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs or ground black pepper.
Pair with crisp white wine, and crusty bread for a complete meal experience.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe

Best Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe


Originating from Naples, SPAGHETTI AGLIO e OLIO translates to spaghetti with garlic and oil that only takes 30 minutes of your time yet promises to be a mouthwatering traditional dish. With simple ingredients this budget-friendly AGLIO e OLIO pasta is considered a poor man's dish. All it takes is thick spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, red chili, parsley, and a simple seasoning of salt & pepper.
5 from 1 vote


  • Large Cooking Pan
  • Large pot (for boiling pasta)
  • Garlic crusher
  • wooden spoon
  • Chopping-board
  • Serving Dish
  • Tongs
  • knife
  • fork
  • Mug


  • 300 grams - 11oz of spaghetti 11oz. half a packet
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 red hot chili’s chopped
  • Fresh parsley a small bunch, chopped
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • Salt and pepper as much as required


  • Start by finely chopping chili and parsley into small pieces.
  • Add a tablespoon of sea salt to a large pot of boiling water and toss in the spaghetti. Cook for 12 to 13 minutes, or 1-2 min less than the packet instructions considering you will finish it off in the pan smothered in the oil sauce.
  • Give the spaghetti a good stir 2 to 3 times while cooking to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • .While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce. Start by drizzling a generous amount of EVOO in a large pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of water before adding the garlic
  • Add garlic to the pan, followed by red chili, and give everything a good stir. Add some parsley and let the sauce cook on a gentle heat, ensuring not to burn the garlic. You want the garlic to be nicely golden in color.
  • Once the sauce smells nice, oozing with a garlicky aroma, it's a sign that it's almost ready to meld with spaghetti. Collect a mug of pasta water and add a little bit to the pan.
  • give the pan a good toss and stir to meld the flavors of olive oil, garlic, parsley, chili, parsley, and pasta water together, creating a creamy emulsion without any cream (of course!). Beat the sauce with a fork or mix using a wooden spoon - whatever it takes to mix everything and create a thicker sauce.
  • Strain the pasta , and add it to the sauce. Gently stirring it to coat every strand of spaghetti with the unbeatable flavors
  • Cook for an extra minute to build a creamy emulsion and let the pasta combine with all the ingredients. Pour in more pasta water adrizzle of EVOO and some parsley.
  • Use the tongs and quickly toss the pasta with the creamy sauce sitting at the bottom so that the starch in the pasta water helps to combine all the ingredients with the pasta.
  • Finish with a final touch of pasta water, EVOO, and parsley to seal it to perfection. Sprinkle in some toasted breadcrumbs or grated pecorino cheese (or both!) or keep things simple by adding black pepper for an added kick.
  • Finally, plate the pasta by adding a generous portion of spaghetti to a dish, and don't forget to collect the sauce from the bottom along with other ingredients using a spoon.
  • Finish it off with a touch of parsley, and it's time to dig into the best SPAGHETTI AGLIO e OLIO.


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

E ora si mangia…Vincenzo’s Plate, Enjoy!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Vincenzo's Plate

If you’re here, you’re probably a Spaghetti Lover, so here you can find 2 more Italian recipes made with Spaghetti:

How to make Lemon Pasta

how to make spaghetti all'assassina

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4 Responses to Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe

  1. Romer Nino April 9, 2024 at 10:05 PM #

    5 stars
    Dear Vincenzo,

    I have no words to express my feelings on what you have achieved with your purpose of showing to the world what Italian food is. I am not Italian but I grew up in Venezuela where I had plenty of Italian good friends and compadres too, where we used to enjoy traditional italian food. Italy is in debt of gratitude to you and whoever participates to spread all recipes of a simple, healthy, and delicious food. Grazie per sempre

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 10, 2024 at 12:04 PM #

      I’m deeply touched by your heartfelt message. Your appreciation fuels my passion and commitment to sharing more simple, healthy, and delicious Italian recipes! Grazie mille for being part of this flavorful journey.

  2. Nikolay May 28, 2024 at 1:36 AM #

    I was surprised at how much I liked it! This dish is interesting because you can’t hide the basic ingredient core with cheese, spices, or sauce—you NEED good extra virgin olive oil, you NEED nice pasta, you need it to be salty enough, you need pasta water, etc. For me, this is the recipe in which you can really-really feel the pasta itself, the oil itself. Delicious! Of course, you have garlic and parsley, but they can’t save you here if your basics are wrecked! And yes, it goes WAY too good during the night xD

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 28, 2024 at 8:53 AM #

      Ciao Nikolay! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the spaghetti aglio e olio! You’re absolutely right, using high-quality ingredients is a must in this simple dish. The garlic and parsley do add that perfect touch, but as you noted, they’re there to complement, not overshadow, the foundational flavours. It’s great to hear that it has become a night-time favorite for you. Thanks for sharing your experience, and I’m excited to hear more about your cooking adventures. Let me know what you are going to cook next.

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