Food / Main Dishes / Vegetarian

15-Minute Pasta Aglio E Olio With Toasty Bread Crumbs

The Italian language can make just about anything sound romantic and frilly, and this dish is a pretty great example of that. Though pasta aglio e olio sounds elegant, it translates to “pasta with garlic and oil”. Woah-hoh!

But, there is a bit more to it than that.

This dish is created by lightly simmering sliced garlic in olive oil and, if you know what’s good for you, dried red chili flakes. This oily goodness is tossed with your fave long pasta — typically spaghetti — as well as freshly chopped parsley, and some parmesan or pecorino-romano. Some recipes will tell you to nix the cheese, but not *this* recipe.

(Who denies cheese, ever? Ridiculous.)

Though my husband has always spoken highly of this dish, I wasn’t too interested until I saw David Rocco’s recipe on David Rocco’s Dolce Vita.

Two words: toasted breadcrumbs.

At first blush, I thought adding carbs to carbs was hella sinful and something I should avoid, but heck no. How many of us eat bread with our pasta?

Exactly. You’re welcome.

Despite the breadcrumbs, this dish might seem pretty pedestrian — but it manages to shine in all of its simplicity. It’s light and delicate in flavor, but it’s totally what you make of it. If you’re a garlic fiend like myself, you can add tons of garlic; if you like your pasta spicy, turn up the heat and go batshit crazy with the chili flakes.

This dish takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and calls for six measly ingredients that you likely have in your pantry right now. What is there to not love? Add this to your weeknight meal plan stat, friends.

Did you make this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.


5 from 1 vote

15-Minute Pasta Aglio Olio With Toasty Bread Crumbs

This 15-minute wonder is what it's all about. Simple yet flavorful, pasta aglio olio pleases garlic lovers and chili lovers alike; the toasted breadcrumbs are a welcomed bonus.
Servings 4
Author Killing Thyme


  • 1 lb angel hair pasta can substitute spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 3 crushed dried chili peppers can substitute with chili flakes; 1/2 tsp+ chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley finely chopped


  • Toss the breadcrumbs and parsley in a small, dry saucepan. Toast over medium-low heat until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Always keep a close eye on the breadcrumbs, because once they start to brown, they brown very quickly! Once the breadcrumbs are golden and fragrant, set aside.
  • Bring salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Boil for approx. 2 minutes or until almost al dente (refer to packaging for timing — different noodles vary in cooking time, but angel hair doesn't take long to cook). Ladle a spoonful or two of pasta water into a separate bowl and set aside; drain pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and the chill flakes. Simmer until the garlic is fragrant and slightly golden. Don't brown the garlic, or you'll get a bitter flavor.
  • Once the pasta is ready, add the pasta to the oil, garlic, and chill flakes. Add the reserved pasta water, and toss to coat, cooking for another minute or so.
  • Before serving, add the breadcrumbs and parsley, and toss to coat. Garnish with extra fresh parsley (optional).
15-Minute Pasta Aglio e Olio With Toasty Breadcrumbs | Killing Thyme — This easy peasy weeknight wonder is full of garlicky goodness with a punch of chili heat. Toasted breadcrumbs add extra nom-factor.


  • […] recipe is inspired by one of my favorite Canadian chefs, David Rocco. He inspired this recipe for Pasta Aglio E Olio With Toasty Breadcrumbs and he’s become my go-to for simple, quick, yet elegant pastas. This recipe takes less […]

  • […] 15-Minute Pasta Aglio E Olio With Toasty Bread Crumbs […]

  • Danny
    August 31, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    5 stars
    I made this last night and loved it! It was so easy and tasty. The addition of bread crumbs is pure genius.

  • Hilary from Cocoa Bean, The Vegetable
    May 13, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Sometimes the simpler recipes are the best ones! I love this texture combination you’ve got going on- breadcrumbs, cheese, pasta, parsley, chili flakes… YUM! Right up my alley. My go-to pasta dish: hot pasta, egg whisked with a bit of the pasta water, chopped walnuts, chopped cilantro (oh wait- you hate cilantro don’t you? Replace with parsley!), a generous dose of good quality olive oil and some S&P. SO good!

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Oh girl. Your go-to pasta dish sounds incredible! I love the addition of walnuts! I have to give that a whirl sometime. Also, I’m impressed by your memory regarding my hatred toward cilantro ;) I guess I do tend to be pretty vocal about it, haha.

  • Cassie @ Crumb Kitchen
    May 13, 2017 at 6:30 am

    You are 100 per cent right, Dana: pecorino romano makes EVERYTHING better. And toasted breadcrumbs?! Bring on the gluten. This is such a perfect dish for when you have nothing in pantry and need to get food on the table ASAP. No one will say no to pasta with oil, garlic, cheese and breadcrumbs!

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:24 am

      The bread crumbs are LIFE. I can’t imagine this dish without them anymore. I mean hey, it works and it’s still delicious, but once you get a taste with those crispy toasted bits… damn.

  • Cheese please! Oh. And garlic. And all the chili flakes. I’ll just sub in some g/f pasta and we’ll be good to go! Yum.

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:25 am

      I hope you love it :)

  • Natalie Browne
    May 12, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    The best pasta dishes are always the simple ones that let the ingredients shine. This looks beautiful and so yummy. Definitely worth all the carbs ;)

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Nathalie! It’s true! It’s amazing how simple you can keep things with pasta and somehow have it turn out to be pretty elegant.

  • diversivore
    May 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    While I’ve been known to craft the occasional complex pasta dish, I have to say that I hold a deep love for recipes like this. First of all, I’m a self-confessed carb fiend, so yayyyy to the breadcrumbs on pasta. Also I have to agree with you – everything’s better with cheese. But honestly, pasta dishes like this are such a great way to demonstrate the value and flexibility of really good ingredients. There’s no trickery or hiding behind big flavours – it’s just simple and amazing stuff. And I LOVE it. I’m so glad you posted this – and so glad that you put useful and detailed instructions in. After all, if you’re going to rock an elegant, minimalist pasta, then you need to know what you’re doing! Cheers!

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Thanks, Sean! Couldn’t agree more. Once I grew more interested in Italian cuisine and started to eat at more authentic Italian restaurants, I quickly learned that 1. fresh pasta is everything, and 2. you really don’t need to add much to a pasta dish if you have a solid homemade sauce. I do enjoy the odd crisp-cleaning pasta bake to get rid of veggies before the turn, but if I’m planning a solid Italian meal, simple is the way.

  • sugarlovespices
    May 12, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Spaghetti aglio olio (e peperoncino) is a staple in our house. we love it and make it often. It is simple yet complex and full of flavors. The addition of the toasted breadcrumbs makes it even yummier! And the parsley (we never make it without), it goes very well with all the flavors. Love your pictures, Dana, you captured the essence of this pasta :-) .
    P.s. There is a “blogger recognition award” kind of chain going on. We were nominated by some blogger and in our turn, we nominated some blogs we love, including yours. Here is the link to our post (participation is optional):

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Oh peperoncino, how I love thee. Thanks so much for the kind words, and gosh, thanks so much for the nomination! How amazing are you? That made my day. Really. I am so fortunate to have a tightly knit circle of friends and creatives in this overly saturated food blog world. <3

  • Eyecandypopper
    May 12, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Oh yes! I’m a sucker for angel hair pasta! Knowing me, I’d most likely end-up adding roasted veggies to it, but what a lovely classic dish! Yum! Gimme garlic over everything!

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:34 am

      It’s hard to go wrong with some roasted veggies. I think roasted broccoli would turn this into an even bigger winner. Noms.

  • The FoodOlic
    May 12, 2017 at 9:03 am

    First of all, Thanks you for not forgetting the cheese;) and second I love the added breadcrumbs it bring a nice complementary texture to the pasta! Love this dish, simple, elegant and cheesy tasty;)

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:34 am

      It will be a cold day in hell if I ever snub cheese :) Thanks, Marie!

  • Cathy
    May 12, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Mmmm…garlic simmered in olive oil. How amazing! I love dishes that are quick and easy to prepare with few ingredients, and this one looks like a wonderful treat!

    • Killing Thyme
      May 17, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Thanks, Cathy! It’s definitely one of those weeknight wonders.


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