Recipe for Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

One of the simplest ways of flavouring pasta there is, the aglio olio combination is a classic dish from Rome, where it is a favourite late night dish and perfect hangover preventative! The secret is using really good extra virgin olive oil and being generous with it, as the oil is one of the main flavours in the dish.

Some people like the bitterness of burnt garlic in the dish, but it is milder and tastier when you don’t let the garlic burn, keeping it light golden and mellow. A great variation is adding peperoncino, dried red chilli peppers, to give an extra bite to the oil. Try it out and find the combination that works best for you.


9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

450g / 1lb spaghetti

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Put the water on to boil for the pasta as you start preparing the sauce.

In a small saucepan put 8 tablespoons of the oil with the garlic and a seasoning of salt. Sauté the garlic over a low heat, stirring now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you are using peperoncino, add it at the same time as the garlic. The garlic will turn a rich gold. Turn off the heat at this point until just before the pasta is cooked.

Cook the pasta until al dente then drain well and toss immediately with the sauce. Toss until all the pasta is well coated, then add the parsley and a seasoning of pepper with the last tablespoon of olive oil. Toss again and serve immediately.

Looking for late night pasta without having to cook it yourself? Check out our listings of Italian restaurants in Nottingham for some great eateries open till late.

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