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Simple Pasta with Garlic & Olive Oil Recipe
by John Spottiswood

Simple Pasta with Garlic & Olive Oil

This is a classic recipe that is so simple to make but always delicious. You can serve this as a side dish to any grilled meat or vegetable entree. It can also stand on it's own or be paired with a salad for a light lunch or dinner. It's a great, easy recipe to add to your list of staples. Using a good olive oil is key here. I used a California Olive Ranch cold pressed extra virgin olive oil that was on sale at our local supermarket, and it added a wonderful flavor.

Rating: 4.5/5
Avg. 4.5/5 12 votes
Prep time: Italy Italian
Cook time: Servings: 4

Goes Well With: Grilled meat, grilled fish

Wine and Drink Pairings: zinfandel


  • Salt and Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • Crushed red peppers to taste (we added individually since kids were eating this too)
  • 1 pound spaghettini or other long, thin pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped italian (flat-leaf) parsley (or use 1/4 cup parsley and 1/4 cup cilantro like I do because I love cilantro...but the traditional recipe calls for just parsley)


  1. Bring a stock pot of water to a boil and add a 1/2 tsp or more of salt.
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil, garlic, and red pepper if you are adding in advance, and a healthy pinch of kosher salt in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic is golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit.
  3. When the water boils, cook the pasta until it is al dente (6-7 minutes). When it's done, scoop out and reserve at least 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the rest of the pasta.
  4. Return the sauce to medium heat until the sauce is hot (1-2 minutes). Add the pasta and the sauce back to the pasta pot, along with a splash of the cooking water and toss to coat, adding a little more water as necessary to create a light, creamy sauce.
  5. Add the parsley, additional kosher salt to taste, and more red pepper as desired, then serve.