Make Pasta with Garlic and Oil

Make Pasta with Garlic and Oil

pasta with garlic and oil

A quick and easy dinner…

I am a fan of dinners that are fast and simple to make.  After coming home from work, my enthusiasm for cooking is nonexistent.  Leftovers and fast prep meals are my go-tos during the work week.  One such meal that I really enjoy is Pasta with Garlic and Oil.

Cover of The Science of Good Cooking

This recipe comes from the cookbook The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen by American’s Test Kitchen.  Those familiar with American’s Test Kitchen, will know to expect a recipe that is finely tuned with thoughtful justifications for each step.  Below is my casual, single-serving version of this recipe.  If you want to try a quick version of this dish, with pantry ingredients and streamlined procedures, follow the directions below.  Alternatively, if you’d like to include fresh ingredients or make multiple servings, check out the cookbook which is available in both print and digital editions.

How to make the pasta


1 serving of spaghetti

dash of salt

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves (1½ teaspoons) minced garlic

1 Tablespoon minced parsley

½ teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

grated Parmesan cheese to taste


Prepare a single serving of spaghetti.

While spaghetti is cooking, combine salt, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small bowl.

herb ingredients

Before draining the spaghetti, reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water.  Add 2 Tablespoons of that water to the herb mixture and combine.

pasta cooking

Drain the spaghetti, but leave it in the pot.  Add the remaining reserved cooking water, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and the herb mixture.  Toss the spaghetti and herbs to combine.

herbs on pasta

Drain the spaghetti a final time and plate.  Add Parmesan cheese to taste.

pasta on plate


After making this recipe several times, I began to eyeball my ingredients to avoid dirtying more dishes.  While my proportions might not always be exact, I have found that the pasta is always tasty.

Cookbook suggestions

The Big Book of Pasta
The Mac + Cheese Cookbook

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Emily is the manager of the Williamsburg Branch of Clermont County Public Library.

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