Jan 14, 2021

Simple Roasted Garlic Pasta

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
This simple pasta is made using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, roasted garlic, a hint of red pepper and cheese. 

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Four heads of garlic may seem excessive – and if it were raw garlic then it would be quite pungent. However, in this recipe, as the garlic roasts and the sugars in the cloves caramelize in the oven, the garlic develops a milder, more subtle flavor.

Simple Roasted Garlic Pasta

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Garlic – For a tutorial for roasting garlic, check out this video here. The cloves become soft and easily spreadable and make the perfect addition to a quick weeknight pasta recipe.
  • Olive oil – While all olive oil comes from the fruit of olive trees, it’s not all created equal. Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and made from pure, cold-pressed olives, giving it more of a true olive taste. Regular olive oil is made from a blend of both cold-pressed and processed oils. I typically cook with extra-virgin olive oil when deciding between the two. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than many other oils, making it better for lower temperature cooking. Save pricey olive oils for finishing the recipe where the flavors will really shine – like in dips, for breads and salad dressing.
  • Parmesan – Parmesan-Reggiano is definitely one of my favorite cheeses. It’s a hard cow’s milk cheese aged for different lengths of time. I’d recommend buying a roughly cut piece of wrapped cheese from the grocery store – it’s typically a higher quality cheese.
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How to Make This Simple Roasted Garlic Pasta

  1. Prep the garlic. Peel the loose paper away from the heads of the garlic and discard. Trim about ¼” off the top of the garlic to expose the cloves.
  2. Roast the garlic. Drizzle the garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then wrap the heads of garlic in aluminum foil. Roast until the garlic is soft when pierced with a knife, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the garlic from the peels. Let cool slightly then squeeze the garlic cloves from the peels, discarding the skin.
  4. Mix the oil and garlic. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the garlic red pepper and mash the roasted garlic in the oil with a fork.
  5. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid then drain the noodles and return them to the pot over medium-low heat.
  6. Assemble and serve. Toss the noodles with the garlic oil mixture and ½ cup of the pasta water. Sprinkle with the cheese, tossing to combine. Add half the parsley and toss once more. Serve topped with the remaining parsley.
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Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Serve this pasta as it is or add your favorite roasted vegetables and protein to it for a more balanced meal.
  • The garlic can be made a few days in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Simple Roasted Garlic Pasta

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 heads garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¾ pound spaghetti
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

  • Peel the loose paper away from the heads of the garlic and discard. Trim about ¼” off the top of the garlic to expose the cloves.
  • Drizzle the garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then wrap the heads of garlic in aluminum foil. Roast until the garlic is soft when pierced with a knife, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly then squeeze the garlic cloves from the peels, discarding the skin.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the garlic red pepper and mash the roasted garlic in the oil with a fork.
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid then drain the noodles and return them to the pot over medium-low heat.
  • Toss the noodles with the garlic oil mixture and ½ cup of the pasta water. Sprinkle with the cheese, tossing to combine. Add half the parsley and toss once more. Serve topped with the remaining parsley.

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  1. Made this pasta dish tonight and it was amazing! The recipe is simple and easy to follow and the result is pure cheesy comforting goodness. This will definitely be one of my go tos when I want delicious garlicky pasta with a minimal amount of work 🙌