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This recipe hits the refresh button on Pasta Aglio E Olio as we know it with the addition of toasted breadcrumbs and fresh lemon!

Why You’ll Love This Pasta Aglio E Olio

This dish is perfect for those nights you find yourself in a pinch. With just 15-minutes start to finish and under 10 ingredients—all of them being pantry staples you likely have in stock—you get a comforting pasta dish that will appease everyone.

Aside from that, I’ve added lemon and toasted breadcrumbs. Lemon does wonders at bringing flavors out of dishes, and this pasta aglio e olio is no exception. As for the breadcrumbs, who doesn’t love a toasty crunch?

What to Serve With This Dish

  • Pasta always goes well with a nice and simple side salad. I’m also a huge fan of serving it with a Caesar salad.
  • Fresh bread is never a bad idea when it comes to serving pasta!
  • If you’re planning on small pasta portions to be able to include a starter, this Italian Wedding Soup With Ground Chicken Meatballs would be an awesome pairing, and a great way to add protein since this pasta doesn’t include it.

Quick Tips

  • Generously salt your pasta water before cooking it. Aglio E Olio can be bland if you don’t use an adequate amount of salt. If you’re finding the end result still tastes a little bland, add more salt bit-by-bit until the flavors pop.
  • Be sure to reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water when draining your pasta. This will be used to create a sauce later!
  • When simmering the garlic in the oil, keep it moving by stirring often. You want the garlic to soften and become aromatic without browning it. If it burns, it becomes bitter.
  • Toast your breadcrumbs before starting anything else. It’s important to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Once they’re done, set them aside until serving time.
  • Go ahead and toss in some freshly grated parmesan for a bit of cheesiness and extra flavor!

Ingredients

  • Long pasta—like spaghetti, angel hair, or fettuccine
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chili flakes
  • Panko breadcrumbs; Italian breadcrumbs will also work.
  • Lemon
  • Fresh parsley—flat leaf and curly parsley are both fine
  • Optional, but you can add some Italian seasoning for a bit of an herbaceous flare

How to Make Pasta Aglio E Olio

Start by toasting the breadcrumbs. Heat a dry pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, bring the heat down to medium-low, then add the breadcrumbs. Let the breadcrumbs toast, shaking the pan every so often to prevent burning. Once the breadcrumbs start to smell nice and toasty and turn golden in color, kill the heat and remove the pan, setting the breadcrumbs aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add a generous amount of salt, then add the pasta. Cook to al dente, as per the directions on the packaging.

While the pasta cooks, get your garlic going. Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and chili flakes, and give it a good stir. Stir often to prevent the garlic from browning.

Once the pasta is done cooking, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.

Add the pasta to the pot with the garlic and chili oil. Using tongs, toss the pasta thoroughly for even coverage. Bit by bit, add the reserved pasta water. This water is starchy and will help create a nice sauce out of the oil and will help it stick to the noodles.

Taste the pasta. If it seems bland, go ahead and add a few pinches more of salt, bit by bit, until you get the flavor going. This is definitely a dish that needs salt!

Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and a few cracks of black pepper if you’re so inclined. If you’re adding any parmesan cheese, now is the time to do that.

Toss everything to coat, and serve with extra chili flakes on the side for those who like a little extra heat!

Storage & Reheating

  • This pasta will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat, you can pop it into a skillet and slowly heat it through, adding a smidgen more oil to “liven” it up. Or pop it into the microwave for a minute or two until it’s heated to your preference.

Have You Made This Recipe?

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More Easy Weeknight Pastas for You to Try

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5 from 6 votes

15-Minute Pasta Aglio E Olio With Breadcrumbs

This recipe presses the refresh button on Pasta Aglio E Olio as we know it with the addition of toasted breadcrumbs and fresh lemon!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
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Ingredients 

  • 1 lb long pasta, Spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, Add more if you want more heat
  • 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Instructions 

TOASTING THE BREADCRUMBS

  • Heat a dry pan over medium heat and, when the pan is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and let them toast, shaking the pan every now and then so they don't burn. When the breadcrumbs start to become aromatic and turn a light golden color, remove them from the heat and set them aside.

PASTA AGLIO E OLIO

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once you have a rolling boil, toss a generous amount of salt into the water. Add the pasta and, going by the instructions on the packaging, cook it to al dente.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. When it's hot, add the garlic and chili flakes, giving them a good stir to prevent burning. Stir them often to keep them moving. (Avoid browning thr garlic.)
  • When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water; drain the rest.
  • Transfer the pasta to the garlic and chili oil and, using tongs, toss the pasta thoroughly until it's all covered. Add the pasta water bit by bit to create a sauce out of the oil. This will also help the sauce stick to the noodles.
  • Do a taste test with the pasta and, If it seems bland, add a few pinches of salt until you get the flavor going. This is why salting the pasta water enough is so important.
  • Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and a few cracks of black pepper if you wish. Now would also be the time to add parmesan cheese if you're using it.
  • Toss well to coat and serve with extra chili flakes for those who like a little extra heat.
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23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Enjoyed this for dinner tonight and it was a savory success! Quick, simple and delicious; easily, a new favorite recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Oooh, this pasta is so good with the toasted breadcrumbs. Such a wonderful combination of textures and flavors.

  3. 5 stars
    It’s incredibly delicious and so quick to whip up. The combination of garlic, chili flakes, and breadcrumbs creates the perfect flavor.