Spaghetti Olio E Aglio (Spaghetti With Garlic in Olive Oil)

"Spaghetti aglio e olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish from Naples. It is simple to make and does not take a long time. While the spaghetti is cooking the sauce is made. This recipe cooks fast and there are a lot of timed steps, please read the recipe carefully before cooking. Canola can be replaced for olive oil if there are any allergy concerns. Starchy pasta water is the key to this dish, so it is better to cook the spaghetti in a smaller pot other than a large pasta pot. Also the water must be highly salted when cooking the pasta, the salt content will not be as elevated as the nutrition info says."
photo by Lab Chef photo by Lab Chef
photo by Lab Chef
Ready In:




  • Add the salt to the water and bring to a boil.
  • While the water is boiling slice the garlic thin and add to a large skillet, add the oil.
  • When the water is boiling add the spaghetti to the water and cook 1 to 1.5 minutes less then recommended package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking bring the skillet to medium heat and sweat the garlic; moving the contents around gently. Do not burn the garlic, heat management is key. About 2 minute before the spaghetti is ready add the red pepper to the skillet and continue moving the garlic and peppers.
  • About 1 minute before the pasta is done remove 1/4 Cup of pasta water (a ladle works well). Add the starchy water to the oil carefully and mix with spatula or wooded spoon.
  • When the pasta is done cooking remove and reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the oil. Mix well while cooking for a additional 1-2 minutes, Slowly adding the pasta water a little at a time until the pasta creamy and emulsified. ***not all the pasta water may be used, use discretion.***.
  • Remove from the heat and plate 1/5 the pasta on a plate. Top with 1/5 the parmesan cheese and parsley. (Parsley is traditional, but i like the basil better).

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As my moniker might display, I am a chef and I work in a laboratory. I have working a healthcare lab for the past 18 years. With the exception of the two years that took a break and went culinary school. Let me tell you, working with food is fun, but it really does not pay the bills. So I went back into healthcare. Now I just cook for my friends and family. One thing that I learned in culinary school is once you have the techniques of cooking, you can cook just about anything. I am not saying go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on culinary school. But try to learn as much about cooking techniques as you can, take a class at your local continuing education location, read a lot, there are many great teaching cooking shows (Good Eats), and of course there is always YouTube. But most of all, cook what you love, and have fun. Do not let cooking be a "I have 30 minutes to make a meal before I have to do X." Cook on your days off or weekends, play some music, have some wine, but have fun. If it does not turn out, do not get mad, but try to figure out why it did not turn out. It usually either a bad recipe, or bad technique.
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