Recipe: Linguini with Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil) (video)

This is a classic, year 'round recipe that is quick, easy and surprisingly good for you! Best made with long, thin pasta such as spaghetti, linguini (shown here) or fettuccini, it is spicy, rich and very satisfying. I like a lot of garlic but you can adjust the amount of garlic to taste.

Bonus: Watch the video below for a great garlic-peeling tip that keeps your hands clean!

Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley adds great flavor and a nice brightness. The hot chillies add the perfect touch of heat.

On a crisp fall or winter evening, linguini aglio e olio is just the thing to take off the chill. Try it instead of chicken soup when you have a head cold! Garlic is a super food and great for your immune system, parsley is a powerful antioxidant and loaded with vitamin C and K, olive oil is a rich source of energy and a heart-healthy fat that provides linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids (essential polyunsaturated fatty acids) and the spiciness from the chillies will clear those sinuses in no time.

Read more about garlic as an Immune system booster here.

And last but not least, the grated Parmesan cheese adds a touch of protein for a balanced carb-protein dish. Gotta love all that nutrition in a dish that tastes entirely decadent!!

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You Can Make in Under 30 Minutes." Click Here to Get Your Free Copy.

Bowl of Delicious Linguini Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil)

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This is a must-have pasta recipe. It's easy to make with ingredients you probably already have on hand...pasta, chillies, olive oil, garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese. If you don't have fresh chillies, just use red pepper flakes (a jar of them seems to last forever!!) and you're good to go. Cilantro can be substituted for the parsley or just skip it. (dried parsley has no flavor so I wouldn't even bother.)

I was first served this dish in Florence, Italy after a late night of dancing with friends. We were all famished but it was too late for restaurants to be open and too early for the cafes. Our Florentine host, Allessandro, threw together a batch of this spaghetti aglio olio in no time and it was the perfect dish! It hit the spot and became one of my favorite recipes.

This super simple pasta recipe is decadent and rich from the peppery olive oil and savory garlic, with just the right hit of heat from the chillies, a bright freshness from the parsley and a salty tang from the Parmesan cheese. Simple, quick and affordable enough for college students, super easy for new cooks and bachelors, it really is a no-fail pasta recipe. Add more heat and garlic to suit your taste. Maybe not the best choice for date night but, hey, if you both eat it...

SEE ALSO: Pasta - How to Cook it - The Pasta Channel, with bonus aglio olio recipe (video)

SEE ALSO: Potent Immune System Booster - Garlic (article)

SEE ALSO: How to Make Fresh Pasta (3 videos)

SEE ALSO: Online Cooking School 

SEE ALSO: Bucatini with Pancetta, eggs and Pecorino Romano (video)

Linguini with Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil)

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch

Linguini with Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil)

This is a QUICK & EASY classic pasta recipe that is rich, spicy and very satisfying. Adjust the garlic, heat and herbs to taste. Works best with long, thin pasta shapes but you can use anything at hand. Reheats easily.


  • 1 pound (1 package) dried linguini (also good with spaghetti or fetttuccini)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-6 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin, (or whole cloves, crushed)
  • 2 red chili peppers, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • A handful (1/4 cup) Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley (you can substitute cilantro but don't use dried parsley)


  1. NOTE: The cooking of the pasta and the preparation of the sauce take about the same time.
  2. Put a large pot of cold water on to boil. (4 quarts or liters per pound of pasta) When the water is at a rolling boil, add a tablespoon or 2 of salt and add the pasta. Stir to prevent sticking. (no oil needed) Cook linguini according to package directions but test for doneness at least a minute before the end of the time on the package. You want it slightly firm (al dente). Keep in mind that it will continue to cook in the pan once it has been combined with the oil.
  3. Reserve 1/4 cup or so of the starchy pasta water for the sauce.
  4. While the pasta is cooking...
  5. In a medium saute or saucepan (cold) add the olive oil and the garlic. Turn the heat to medium and slowly "toast" the garlic. DO NOT let it burn or it will be bitter! As soon as the oil starts to bubble around the garlic, turn the heat down to medium low. This only takes about 5 minutes so keep an eye on it.
  6. OPTIONAL: Add 2 red chili peppers, chopped. (If using red pepper flakes, add them later with the herbs and cheese.) Cook the garlic and chillies, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. When the garlic is ready, the edges should be a beautiful golden brown color. If using large, crushed garlic pieces, remove them before adding the pasta. The oil will be infused with the garlic flavor.
  7. Add the drained pasta directly to the hot saucepan. (or add the oil to your pasta bowl as shown in the video) Mix well to coat the strands and allow to heat through for about a minute or so.
  8. Add in the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. If you want more heat, add a few fresh chillies.
  9. Remove pan from the heat, add fresh herbs and grated cheese (and pepper flakes if using) and toss well. Garnish with more of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


With 1 lb. of pasta, this will serve 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch, 8 as a side

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