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Pasta Aglio e Olio

This quick and simple pasta dish takes less than half an hour to come together, but tastes so rich and flavorful, it's as though you spent ages at the stove.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian, pasta, plant-based, vegan
Servings: 4 small servings


  • medium or large sauté pan
  • pasta pot


  • ½ pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta*
  • 4 quarts water generously salted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 3-4 cups baby greens optional
  • red pepper flakes optional
  • vegan parmesan cheese optional


  • Fill a large pasta pot with at least four quarts of water.
  • Salt the water generously** and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Add pasta and cook until al dente. The cook time will vary depending on the pasta you choose. Angel hair cooks completely in 3-5 minutes, while spaghetti takes longer. Be mindful of the time!
  • While the pasta is cooking begin to prepare the garlic oil. Warm 3 tablespoons of oil over very low heat.
  • Once warmed, add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown! Once cooked, set aside.
  • When the pasta is done, drain immediately and return to the pasta pot.
  • Pour the garlic oil over the pasta and toss.
  • If using, add baby greens to the pot while the pasta is still hot and toss, wilting the greens.
  • Divide pasta onto serving dishes and garnish with red pepper flake and vegan parmesan cheese, as desired.


*Aglio e olio is traditionally made with spaghetti. The photos in this post show it made with angel hair pasta because that was what I was able to find at the grocery store. However, it can be made with whatever shape of pasta you prefer! Just be mindful that easy kind of pasta has a different cooking time.
**There is a lot of debate in the culinary world over how much to salt one's pasta water. Mr. Kettle & Kale and I are perhaps overly generous with salt (we prefer the water to be a little cloudy when we're done), but a good middle of the road option if you are unsure of how much salt to use is 2 teaspoons per quart of water in the pot.