A Garlic Lover’s Dream, Spaghetti Aglio Olio

aglio olio

I think anyone who reads my blog at this point knows I am a garlic junkie. Have I even posted one recipe that does not use any garlic other than the dessert I posted? To be honest I don’t think I have. And can you blame me? Garlic is absolutely delicious! There is nothing better than that sweet, almost nutty flavor you get from beautifully browned garlic. Well this pasta recipe here is an ode to all the fellow garlic lovers out there, and even better, this recipe is unbelievably cheap and simple to prepare and is friendlier to the figure than a lot of the recipes I have posted.

The base of the sauce is plenty of olive oil. Then you add, and I know this sounds scary, a tin of anchovies. Yes I know, I do not eat anchovies either. But in this sauce they are magic, When added to the olive oil and cooked down they completely melt and add a beautiful nutty flavor to the sauce that pairs perfectly with the flavor of browned garlic. Then you add lots and lots of garlic to the mix and brown it up and finish by adding red pepper flakes, tossing the pasta in the sauce, and finally topping with a very generous portion of parmesan cheese for a quick and easy pasta dinner.


  • 1/2 pound long pasta like spaghetti or fettuccine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tin flat anchovy filets
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on taste
  • plenty of parmesan to top with

Start by cooking your pasta to al dente (one minute less than package directions) in salted, boiling water. While that is happening heat your olive oil and anchovies together over medium heat. It is really important that you heat them together because no matter how low or high I make the heat whenever I add the anchovies to warm or hot oil they immediately start popping and splattering everywhere and it is not fun to get hit with. Once the anchovies actually start to cook break them up with a wooden spoon until they start to melt down. This usually takes me about five minutes. Once the anchovies are melted and broken down add all 10 tablespoons of that minced garlic to the mixture and sautee it for about three minutes, stirring it regularly. You want for your garlic to be perfectly browned. Once you achieve that add the red pepper flakes, between half a teaspoon to a whole teaspoon should be enough, just add based on how spicy you want your pasta. When you get your heat level right add the pasta to the pan and stir it around so all of it gets completely covered in the fragrant garlic oil. When I serve this I like to add LOTS of parmesan cheese to the top to really drive the nutty and salty flavors of the dish home.

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