Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (which means garlic and oil) is a simple and tasty classic Italian pasta recipe. Using plenty of fresh garlic, it’s a great dish for aficionados of the fragrant bulb!
Complete the meal: As you can see, the dish relies mainly on pasta, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil (use the best olive oil possible), so you’ll need a few vegetable-rich, colorful companions. A bountiful salad (with chickpeas or beans for added protein) and a simply prepared green vegetable (asparagus, broccoli, or green beans) are most welcome.
Zucchini variation: If you want to add in a vegetable, zucchini is a perfect fit. See the notes section of the recipe.
EASIEST VEGAN PARMESAN-STYLE TOPPING
Homemade vegan Parmesan is usually a combination of nutritional yeast plus ground cashews or almonds. This version is even easier because you don’t need a machine to make it. Just two ingredients — almond flour (found in most natural foods stores) and nutritional yeast, plus a pinch of salt, and you’ve got a great topping for pasta dishes like this one.
A tablespoon or two of this topping provides you with a nice dose of Vitamin B12 (from the nutritional yeast), and almond flour is a great source of Vitamin E and calcium.
What to do: Combine a more or less equal amount of nutritional yeast and almond flour in a small container. I usually go with 1/2 cup of each. For that amount, I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt; add your salt to taste. Mix it up well. Cover and refrigerate any unused portion, where it will keep well almost indefinitely (but there’s no way you’ll make it last that long!).
- 16 ounces spaghetti (or use linguini)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as desired
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Dried hot red pepper flakes
- Vegan Parmesan (store-bought, or see an easy homemade version above the recipe box)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a large serving container.
- Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, stirring frequently.
- Add the sautéed garlic along with the parsley, remaining olive oil (add a bit more if you’d like), and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well. If the pasta seems a bit dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil and/or pasta cooking water.
- Serve at once. Pass around hot red pepper flakes and vegan Parmesan for topping individual servings.
Variation: Embellish the dish with 2 medium or 3 smaller zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced, to the dish. Add to the skillet after step 2 along with a little water and sauté over low heat until just tender, stirring frequently.
If you like this simple Italian pasta dish, you may also enjoy …