Due to the early success of our potted herbs, Alex and I have been excited by the challenge of using up our new bounty. Last week's tomato and chive quinoa was a huge hit, so this week we're turning our attention to another herb in our garden -- parsley. The following recipe is a classic. The limited ingredients and simple steps make this dish a go-to when you're short on time, but it's also delicious enough to serve up to friends and family while entertaining. 


  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, 1/4 cup or more to taste, freshly grated


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to water once boiling. 
  • Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, approximately 9 minutes.
  • Drain pasta, reserving one cup of pasta water.

  • While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute or until it sizzles. 

  • Add the red pepper flakes. Continue sautéing until the edges of the garlic just begin to brown, about two more minutes. 

  • Add reserved cup of pasta water and a pinch of sea salt. Continue cooking for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the drained pasta and parsley reserving one tablespoon of parsley. 
  • Toss until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid, about three minutes. 
  • Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of parsley as garnish and grate parmesan cheese over top of each serving to taste. Serve immediately. This dish serves 2-4 depending on appetite.

This recipe can be easily customized based on taste, and is a great way to use up other fresh herbs you have on hand or other ingredients in your refrigerator. 

Over the Memorial Day holiday while staying at a friend's home on the Chesapeake Bay, I enhanced this recipe by leaving out the cheese, but adding fresh crab meat, cherry tomatoes, basil, and a hit of fresh lemon. The pasta was a completely different experience, and made for the perfect bayside meal. 

Do you have a go-to pasta dish that's a favorite in your family? Maybe a simple, classic recipe that you like to change up depending on what's in season? I'd love to hear every mouth watering detail. 

Comments 3


5/31/2012 at 1:52 PM
Mm pasta and olive oil and garlic are an amazing combo yet so simple.

I am a fan of carbonara because I almost always have bacon and eggs in my fridge and the pasta does all the work in creating the sauce.

Costco sells these amazing fire roasted frozen vegetables in balsamic sauce. When I am seriously lazy, I will open a bag of them and just add cooked pasta to it and it tastes incredible.
5/31/2012 at 10:05 PM
My husband calls pasta mixed with sauteed minced garlic "Garlic Pie" -- we have it pretty often, especially in the winter. We usually use linguine and sometimes have a little bit of homemade marinara sauce (cooked with basil leaves) or some sun-dried tomato tapenade concoction spooned on top -- not drenched in it though. Oh, and fresh-grated parmesan cheese of course! I hadn't thought of parsley but it would be a worthwhile addition. Linguine with white clam sauce definitely benefits from a lot of chopped parsley.
1/19/2020 at 6:11 PM

Now I’m hungry! Looking for more meatless dishes ??

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