The Pasta Series: Aglio e Olio | Just 5 ingredients

The Pasta Series: Aglio e Olio | Just 5 ingredients


A delicious, mouthwatering spaghetti dish with just 5 ingredients is what I recommend for days that don’t make any sense. There is so much simplicity in this recipe with just a few steps – however, this recipe requires precision. Nothing too difficult, but a few tips and tricks here, will ensure that you’ve got a fabulous carb-ilicious dish.

The first rule is the olive oil. I use extra virgin olive oil for the cooking as well – because this spaghetti’s main taste is the olive oil itself. The better the flavor and quality, the better your pasta dish will be.

Then there is the garlic – you need to slice them like mini chips and add it into cold extra virgin olive oil and let them heat together in the pan. Of course, there’s no rule on how the garlic must be cut – it can be minced or crushed as well – but whatever it is, keep an eye on it in the olive oil – the smaller the cut, the quicker the burn!

Once the garlic just starts to brown, add the chilli flakes – and this is the beauty – the oil will turn a lovely hue of red telling you, you’ve got it all right! Immediately add the spaghetti, and a bit of the water if you require and toss with tongs to coat with the sauce. Turn off the heat, and add the finely chopped parsley and salt.

Adding a good amount of cheese at this point is great while you toss the pasta, so the sauce will slightly emulsify.

It is essential for the garlic to cook perfectly and adequate amount of olive oil for this to be a really good dish. This is one of the pasta dishes where the spaghetti absolutely must be cooked al dente (no room for negotiation) and timing is extremely important. The spaghetti must be boiled beforehand as well.

Check out the video tutorial: here

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The Recipe
Serves 2


  • Handful of spaghetti, cooked al dente (100-150g) (amazon link)
  • A few spoons of the pasta water
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese


  • Heat olive oil in a medium pan with garlic slices (add the garlic to the cold olive oil)
  • Cook on low temperature, until garlic just begins to turn brown
  • Add the chili flakes, spaghetti and salt and toss together
  • Turn the heat off, stir in the fresh parsley leaves and a few spoons of the pasta water if you feel so and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and stir to emulsify the sauce
  • Remove to plate and generously grate parmesan cheese
  • Eat immediately

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.