Aglio e olio, or garlic and olive oil, is one of the easiest recipes to prepare. It is most commonly served with spaghetti, although you can substitute your favourite pasta shape and it will be just as delicious.
The origins of aglio e olio are traced back to the South of Italy, given the presence of ingredients produced in the Mediterranean regions, such as extra virgin olive oil. Precisely, this dish was born in Campania and at the beginning linguine or vermicelli were used as a pasta format, instead of spaghetti.
Given the simplicity of components here, be sure to source the highest quality ingredients. Extra virgin olive oil, ideally sourced from Italy, and fresh garlic are both key. And if you choose to top with cheese, be sure to use Parmigiano Reggiano as this will really elevate the flavours of this dish.
Our spaghetti aglio e olio recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes (excluding pasta)
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Calories per serving: 719kcal (including pasta)
- 660g fresh spaghetti or pasta of your choosing (for fresh egg pasta dough, see our fresh pasta recipe)
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 8tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 10g fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
- Parmigiano Reggiano, to serve
- Prepare your pasta of choice, following our simple fresh pasta recipe.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Pour the oil into a large frying pan and place over medium heat. Add the garlic and a touch of salt. Gently sauté the garlic until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic. Once the oil is fragrant, remove the pan from the heat.
- Salt the water generously and cook your pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the oil and garlic along with a splash of pasta cooking water. Toss vigorously until the oil coats the pasta.
- Plate and serve immediately, topping with parsley or basil and freshly grated cheese.
Aglio e olio wine pairing recommendation
A simple dish like this calls for a similarly understated wine. A light to medium-bodied white will pair well with the light sauce and allow the garlic, extra virgin olive oil and herbs to truly shine. Dry, brightly acidic Pinot Grigio is a safe bet, but if you’re looking for something a little different, you can’t go wrong with a refreshing glass of Vermentino. This wine has a citrusy palate and a slightly oily mouthfeel – perfect for cutting through the rich, oil-slicked sauce.