Pasta with Olive OIl & Garlic (Aglio Olio): 8 Classic Simple Authentic Pasta Recipes. Pantry favourites on the table in 15 minutes or less.
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5 from 2 votes

8 simple Italian Pasta Recipes

These pasta recipes are simple Italian classics you'll find in trattorias all across Italy. “Pantry” meals that take less than 15 minutes to make, each makes enough for 6 people. For all recipes, follow the Base Steps then move onto the recipe specific steps. Use the recipe slider to change the serving size. Click here for a PDF printable version of all these recipes on one page.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Mains, Pasta
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: pasta dishes, pasta recipes, quick pasta recipes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 468kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

  • 1 lb/500 g dried spaghetti (or other long pasta)

PASTA WITH OLIVE OIL & GARLIC (AGLIO E OLIO):

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves , sliced
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

FIERY PASTA (ARRABIATA):

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 21 oz / 600g crushed tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

PASTA WITH ANCHOVIES (SPAGHETTI CON LE ACCIUGHE):

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 tbsp anchovies , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

AMATRICE SPAGHETTI (SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA):

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1/2 brown onion , diced
  • 14 oz/400g crushed tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 6 oz/ 180g thinly sliced guanciale , or diced pancetta or bacon

FRESH TOMATO & BASIL SAUCE (POMAROLA):

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 24 oz/800g fresh cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil , lightly packed

TOMATO SPAGHETTI (SPAGHETTI NAPOLITANA):

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 brown onion , diced
  • 28 oz / 800g crushed tinned tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil , lightly packed

SPAGHETTI WITH OLIVES AND CAPERS (SPAGHETTI ALLA PUTTANESCA):

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 14 oz/400g crushed tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 4 oz/100g black sliced olives
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

PASTA WITH TUNA (SPAGHETTI AL TONNO):

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1/2 brown onion , diced
  • 14 oz/400g crushed tinned tomatoes
  • 5 oz/150g tinned tuna
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Instructions

Base Directions (for All):

  • Cook 1lb/500g of dried spaghetti (or any other long dried pasta) in a large pot of salted boiling water per packet MINUS 1 minute.
  • Meanwhile, prepare one of the sauces below.
  • When pasta is ready, scoop out 1 cup of pasta cooking water, and drain pasta.
  • Add pasta into chosen sauce with 3/4 cup pasta cooking water. Toss pasta until sauce thickens and sticks to pasta (called "emulsifying" the sauce), 1 - 2 minutes. Use more pasta water if needed to loosen sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish pasta per chosen recipe.

PASTA WITH OLIVE OIL & GARLIC (AGLIO E OLIO):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until golden - be careful not to burn it.  
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through parsley and chilli flakes, serve with parmesan.

FIERY PASTA (ARRABIATA):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, stir until fragrant, then add the tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes, simmer on medium for 5 minutes.
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through parsley and serve with parmesan.

PASTA WITH ANCHOVIES (SPAGHETTI CON LE ACCIUGHE):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and anchovies, stir until the garlic is fragrant and the anchovies have melted. 
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through parsley and chilli flakes, and serve with parmesan.

AMATRICE SPAGHETTI (SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion and guanciale (or pancetta or bacon) and cook until the onion has softened and the guanciale  is golden.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes and bring to rapid simmer. Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Serve with parmesan.

FRESH TOMATO & BASIL SAUCE (POMAROLA):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, add tomato and cook briefly, just to warm through. 
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through basil, serve with parmesan.

TOMATO SPAGHETTI (SPAGHETTI NAPOLITANA):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the onion and cook until softened. Then add tinned tomatoes and 1/2 cup water, simmer 5 minutes. 
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through basil and serve with parmesan.

SPAGHETTI WITH OLIVES AND CAPERS (SPAGHETTI ALLA PUTTANESCA):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes, olives, capers and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 3 minutes.
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through parsley and serve with parmesan.

PASTA WITH TUNA (SPAGHETTI AL TONNO):

  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the onion and cook until softened, then add the tinned tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 3 minutes, then add the tuna. 
  • Toss with pasta and cooking water per Base Directions. Toss through parsley. Seafood pasta typically not served with parmesan but you can if you want!

Notes

TIPS:
  • Canned tomatoes - not all canned tomatoes are created equal. Good quality ones are naturally sweet with better tomato flavour, poor quality ones are sour and often unripe tomatoes. If needed, add sugar to sweeten tomatoes.
  • Salted boiling water - use a big pot of water and 1 tbsp salt. Stir pasta once or twice while cooking.
  •  
Nutrition information is for Oglio e Olio, per serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 181g | Calories: 468kcal