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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Spinach

This Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Spinach is a traditional dish that is easy to make and packed with delicious flavors. The garlic olive oil sauce is light, healthy, and so tasty.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 286kcal


  • 16 oz. pasta
  • 1 tbsp. salt or to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 8 oz. baby spinach leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper, to garnish


  • Cut the stems off the parley and chop them finely. Chop the leaves separately. Set aside. (This step is optional. If you don’t have parley stems, just skip them).
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the spaghetti. Stir, and start making the garlic olive oil sauce.
  • To a large stainless steel skillet, add the olive oil, finely chopped garlic, parsley stems, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-low heat for about 3-4 minutes, until the garlic just starts to change color.
  • At this point, add a ladle of pasta water to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, and add the spinach. Cook, until spinach has wilted.
  • While the spinach is simmering, check on the pasta. You should cook the pasta about 1 minute less than you normally would.
  • Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta and the reserved parsley leaves to the olive oil sauce. Stir, and keep cooking for about 1 more minute, adding splashes of pasta water, if necessary.
  • Turn off the heat and plate the pasta. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.



Tips for the best Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Spinach

  • Use good quality olive oil. This ingredient is the star of this dish so choose a good extra virgin olive oil to impart the most flavor into your pasta dish.
  • Add enough salt. Make sure you season the pasta water generously, because it adds a lot of flavor and we are not using any extra salt, besides the one from the pasta water.
  • Use fresh spinach. Baby spinach has tender stems, more so than other types or frozen spinach. This is just what you want for this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Spinach dish.
  • Cook the pasta slightly under. Because the pasta will cook a bit in the sauce, cook it about 1 minute less than you normally would so it is a perfect al dente when you serve it.
  • Don't rinse the pasta. Rinsing the pasta will steal the starch that will help the sauce adhere to the noodles. So just drain it and then add it to the sauce, using the extra pasta water to get the right consistency.

How to Store

You can store any leftovers of this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Spinach in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove top. If the sauce has absorbed into the spaghetti and seems a little dry, then you can add a little olive oil or even water to freshen it up. Garnish and serve.


Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5875IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg