Spaghetti Aglio E Olio – spaghetti with garlic and olive oil


This is as simple, easy and cheap as a recipe can get!

It is also one of my favorites, a real  Italian comfort food!

It great when I’m cooking for myself, or have to come up with a late dinner.

But as it uses so few ingredients you really have to use good quality pasta and olive oil (and cheese if using).

It can be as basic as, pasta, oil, garlic and salt, however can be customized to your taste and to what you have in the pantry.

  • I like to add chilli (I use a fresh chilli, though I read that dry chilli flakes are traditional)
  • I like to add chopped parsley at the end (but you can leave it out, or use another herb).
  • I like to add Parmesan to serve (apparently traditionally cheese should NOT be used)
  • I sometimes use some crisp fried prosciutto to serve, as I’ve done here.
  • At other times I have added tuna, crispy croutons or crumbs, rocket, spinach, baby kale etc, the choice is yours!



Ingredients: (4 t0 6 serves)

500g of pasta (I used Barilla Spagettini)

1/2 a cup of good olive oil

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or to your taste)

1 red chilli , finely sliced

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

6 slices of prosciutto


Parmesan to serve

  1. Fill a large pot with cold water, add salt and bring to the boil
  2. Meanwhile, add garlic, chilli and oil to a fry pan. Put on lowest  heat (allow to cook until pasta is ready, if garlic begins to brown take pan off heat).
  3. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to packet directions or until ‘al dente’.
  4. While pasta is cooking, fry prosciutto in a fry pan, until crisp. Drain on paper towel, and crumble.
  5.  When cooked, drain pasta, reserving 1/2 a cup of the paste water.
  6. Return pasta to hot pot, add oil mixture and parsley, stir to combine well, making sure all pasta is coated with oil.
  7. To serve, add paste to bowl, top with a piece of crumbled prosciutto and Parmesan to taste.