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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil served in a white bowl.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Fresh Tomatoes & Basil

If you’re looking for a quick, affordable and delicious meal to serve your family on busy weeknights, this spaghetti aglio e olio with fresh tomatoes & basil is just the thing.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword aglio e olio recipe, pasta in garlic oil, spaghetti aglio e olio
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 450kcal


  • 16 ounces Spaghetti cooked to package directions for al dente
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt for the pasta water plus extra for the finished dish (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 5-6 Large Garlic Cloves minced
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper or to taste
  • Pinch Black Pepper or to taste
  • 8-10 ounces Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4-6 Basil Leaves chiffonade
  • Parmesan Cheese grated for serving


Start the pasta

  • Start a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water after it comes to a boil.
  • Drop the spaghetti in the boiling water and cook to package directions for al-dente.

When the spaghetti is almost done

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
  • When the olive oil is hot, but nowhere near smoking, add the garlic to the skillet.
  • Cook the garlic gently for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. You’ll know it’s done because it will become very fragrant.
  • Add in the crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper to the garlic oil and stir.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the tomatoes and give the pan a quick swirl to coat the tomatoes with the garlic oil and leave it off the heat until the pasta is ready.
  • When the pasta is al dente, reserve at least one cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta well. Add the pasta back to the pot.
  • Add the garlic oil to the pasta.
  • Then, add in a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss well until the noodles are slippery and really easy to toss.
  • Taste the pasta, add salt to taste if needed.
  • Right before serving the pasta, chiffonade the basil and top each individual dish.
  • Serve the spaghetti aglio e olio with fresh tomatoes & basil with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired.


To chiffonade the basil, stack the leaves, one on top of the other. Roll the leaves, lengthwise and make thin slices widthwise. You’ll end up with thin ribbons. Cut the basil right before using or the cut edges will brown.
Always cook garlic gently over moderate heat to moderate low heat, and stir frequently. Don’t leave the garlic unattended. Garlic burns very easily and if it does burn, it becomes bitter and pretty much inedible. If your garlic burns (it happens) toss it and start over.


Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 783mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1.2mg