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Pasta with Garlic and Oil


How to Cook Everything The Basics by Mark Bittman

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (37 Votes)


  • salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, or more as needed
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste, optional
  • 1 lb long thin pasta, like spaghetti or linguini, or any other pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
  • shrimp, optional


Adapted from


Step 1

Bring a stockpot of water to boil and salt it. Put the oil, garlic, red pepper if you're using it, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic just turns golden but not brown, 2-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit.
When the water boils, cook the pasta until it is tender but not mushy; start tasting after 5 minutes. When it's done, scoop out and reserve at least 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Return the sauce to medium heat and stir once in a while until it's hot again. Add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet along with a splash of the cooking water and toss to coat, adding a little more oil or cooking water if necessary to create a slightly creamy sauce. Here's where I added the shrimp and continued to cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt or red pepper, then toss with the parsley if you're using it and serve.


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