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Simple Roasted Garlic Pasta

As the garlic roasts and the sugars in the cloves caramelize in the oven, the garlic develops a milder, more subtle flavor. For a tutorial for roasting garlic, check out this video here.
Course pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword garlic, parsley, roasted garlic, spaghetti
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 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


  • 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.