This traditional Italian dish is simple yet elegant, featuring garlic & olive oil with a light kick from red pepper flakes. Pasta aglio e olio comes together in minutes and is perfect for an impressive date night!
Ah yes, another pasta dish I’m telling you to make for date night (you’ll thank me one day). What is aglio e olio? Simply put, it’s pasta in a garlic and oil sauce. The simplest form of love in this universe. This dish is in my opinion, the easiest way to impress someone you’ve just started dating. Even if you’re a novice chef, you won’t mess this up. All you need is fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, and olive oil.
What pasta should you use for aglio e olio?
Because this sauce is so inexpensive and easy to make, I recommend stepping your pasta game up. If you REALLY want to impress someone, go ahead and make your own pasta using my Fresh Pasta Tutorial. It’s so much easier than you think, and always a show stopper. If you have a pasta extruder, use my Extruder Pasta Dough recipe (it’s quicker!). Store bought is also fine, and you may already have it on hand. For this blog, I used De Cecco Squared Spaghetti for the sake of time.
1/3 cup olive oil
7 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1.5 tsp parsley
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/2 lb pasta
How to prepare pasta aglio e olio
First, you want to peel and thinly slice your garlic. While you’re slicing, bring a pot of water to a boil (like I said in my Vodka Sauce recipe, the water needs to be saltier than the saltiest person you know). Heat a pan over medium and pour the oil in to warm.
The next step is important, once you add the garlic- be sure not to burn it. We’re going for a light brown, not a burn. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, and about 1/4 tsp of salt to start. If your garlic is brown before the pasta is done cooking, remove it from heat. The image below is what you want.
Once your pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook al dente. Do not cook to full tenderness. Add the al dente pasta to the aglio e olio and toss. The pasta will coat with oil and the heat from the pan will finish cooking the pasta. After the pasta is shiny and tender, your dish is complete. I like to toss some grated parm in at this stage.
That’s it, you’re done. Serve on a plate and top with grated parm or pecorino romano. This dish pairs best with a light white wine in my opinion, but another great option is a Cosmopolitan (or a Bourbon Sour) if you want cocktails for the evening!
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Pasta Aglio e Olio
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 7 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1.5 tsp parsley dried
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lb pasta
- salt to taste
- Warm a pan over medium with oil, and set a large pot of salted water on the stove to bring to a boil. Thinly slice garlic cloves.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, and 1/4 tsp salt to the oil. The garlic should be lightly simmering, it should not be frying. Be careful not to burn the garlic cloves, they are done once they are a light golden brown.
- Once the pasta is cooked al dente, add to the pan. Toss the pasta in the oil & add water if more sauce is needed. The pasta should be shiny and tender once it is combined.
- Serve on a plate & top with grated cheese!