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Aglio e Olio

Aglio e Olio (Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, Chile and Parsley (vegan, gluten-free, nut-free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


It’s time for an at-home date night and it’s going to be a good one! Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a simple, comforting pasta dish made with roasted garlic (aglio), olive oil (olio), fresh parsley, and some crushed red peppers. It’s ultra easy to make and yet incredibly gourmet.  Use your favorite gluten-free pasta for a meal with no allergens and all the flavor!


  • 1 large head garlic, roasted*
  • 12 ounces capellini, spaghetti, fettuccini or linguini pasta noodles (any long pasta noodle – gluten-free if desired)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt for pasta water
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (plus more for garnish)**
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves (plus more for garnish)


  • fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • vegan Parmesan cheese, grated***
  • red pepper chili flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper

Serve with:


  1. Roast a head of garlic ahead of time (see my post on How to Roast Garlic).
  2. Fill a 5.5 dutch oven or pot with 10 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water.  Add the pasta and set a timer for the instructed cooking time on the box.  My gluten-free brown rice capellini noodles cook in 8 minutes.  Once the noodles are done cooking, reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining. Drain the remaining pasta water and place the cooked noodles back in the dry pot.  Toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking.  
  3. Heat a 12-inch large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add oil, roasted garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and saute.  Add caramelized onions if using (highly recommended).  Use a wooden spoon to break up the roasted garlic cloves.  They will diffuse and sort of melt into the oil as they cook.  Saute until fragrant to infuse the oil with flavor (about five minutes – longer is fine over low heat just be sure to stir often to prevent burning).  Add any cooked veggies or white beans if using.
  4. Add cooked pasta and toss well.  Add 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and toss well over medium heat.  Saute for another five minutes.  Add the parsley (and spinach if using) during the last minute of cooking.  Taste and adjust flavors as needed. 
  5. Serve the pasta hot with desired garnishes (see ingredients above for suggestions). 


*To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Slice the top off an entire head of garlic (about 1/2-inch so the garlic cloves are all exposed).  Wrap the garlic bulb in foil and place in a small ramekin that is oven safe.  Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil (about 2 teaspoons).  Sprinkle generously with fine salt.  Cover in foil tightly so the garlic is not exposed. Place the ramekin in the oven for one hour. Remove and carefully unwrap the foil to allow the roasted garlic to cool to room temperature. Squeeze the garlic head to release the roasted garlic cloves. Discard the garlic skin.  See my full and detailed post on How to Roast Garlic here.

** The classic Italian dish calls for chopped fresh red chiles (peperoncini) which can be difficult to find in other countries.  I substitute crushed red pepper flakes which I always have in my pantry. 

***Here is my quick and easy recipe for Vegan  “Parmesan Cheese”: Whisk together 1/2 cup super fine blanched almond flour (not almond meal), 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.  Sprinkle like Parmesan Cheese.

  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

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