3 Ways to Upgrade Your Garlic-and-Oil Spaghetti Game

Your basic spaghetti dish need not be boring!

IMAGE Bianca Laxamana

Garlic and Oil Spaghetti, found in Italian Restaurant menus as Aglio e Olio, is the simplest spaghetti dish you’ll ever cook. The basic recipe only needs pasta, salt, garlic, olive oil, water and you’re done. If you add a little more ingredients though, you’re going to get started on a journey of so many possibilities. Here are a few ideas you can use to get started.  


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Would you believe you only need 3 main ingredients for this?


1 Add seafood such as mussels, scallops, and shrimp.

Cook your mussels first in water with a little bit of garlic and ginger. When that’s finished, set aside a portion of the mussel’s broth. After sautéing the garlic and oil together, add in your cup of broth and reduce.  Add in precooked prawns, squids, mussels and scallops—or whatever precooked seafood available and just heat up together with your pasta. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with a sprig of parsley and a wedge of lemon.



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The classic combo of garlic and shrimp are flavors that will make this pasta a hit.


2 Add layers of flavors with chorizo and chili flakes.

Start by adding chilli flakes to your olive oil on low heat. When the oil gets tinged with red, you can put in the garlic and thinly sliced chorizos. The fat in the chorizo will melt and flavor your oil. Add chunky tomatoes and a little pasta water and simmer until your tomatoes are nice and mushy.


This dish is a bit spicy so you may opt to skip the chili. The chorizo, however, is a must.


3 Adding mushrooms can make a big difference. 

If you are using fresh shitake mushrooms, first, separate the caps from the stems. Mince the stems while keep your caps in chunky slices. This would allow the stems to soften and cook at the same time as the caps. Throw them in with the garlic to flavor your olive oil. If you’re using canned mushrooms, then it shouldn’t matter as they are usually already cooked, so just chop and throw them in with the garlic. Then proceed as you would usually cook your garlic and oil spaghetti.



Want to make even more pasta dishes? Revisit these classics:


This pesto pasta recipe is ready in under 30 minutes. Just toss and serve!

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Kids will love this cheesy, comforting dish!

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