The best 5 ingredient pasta dish – ever.

Posted 01/22/14 by Kate Arends

It’s 8pm on a Tuesday night and your fridge is empty. The temperature reads -8 degrees, and while Whole Foods is all of 8 blocks away, the thought of jumping in your car to peruse the salad bar feels similar to running 13.1 miles. Luckily, I almost always have the ingredients for my favorite simple meal on hand. With only 5 ingredients, this pasta dish is deceptively simple- spaghetti coated with a fragrant olive oil infused with loads of garlic and red pepper. The dish is really elevated by execution, so don’t skimp on using fresh garlic cloves, and good olive oil and butter.

Here’s the recipe to my rendition of this simple Italian classic.

1 box of whole grain spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop the fresh garlic. Sprinkle the garlic with a little bit of salt to help release some of the flavor.
3. Coat the bottom of a medium sauté pan with olive oil, then add the butter. Over medium heat, let the butter melt into the olive oil until it starts bubbling.
4. Add the garlic and red pepper. Lift the pan off the burner and sauté lightly until the garlic browns slightly. Remove from heat.
5. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain.
6. Move the cooked pasta to a shallow serving dish and coat thoroughly with the spicy garlic oil. I leave all the garlic bits in the oil, but you could easily run the mixture through a strainer.
7. Sprinkle the pasta with a generous amount of sea salt and cracked pepper and your eyes will be rolling back in your head with pleasure. Seriously.
8. Serve yourself an extra large portion and savor!

Serves 4 / 15 minute cooking time.

Comments (16)  /   Like

  1. my roommate in college who had an abhorrence to vegetables, meat, etc. would ALWAYS make this, sans the garlic. like, every day. i was simultaneously confused and curious and finally ended up trying it… hallelujah, it was goooood. i’ll definitely try this out sometime, especially since it has such an easy ingredient list!

  2. That’s so funny. You could add a little basil or kale if you’re missing those greens. Wouldn’t hurt!

    Jan 22 2014 | Kate
  3. This does sound like quite a lovely dish! Sometimes you just want something as simple as this. I must give it go one day soon. 🙂

    Jan 22 2014 | A. Sparkle
  4. Please do. It’s surprisingly satisfying.

    Jan 22 2014 | Kate
  5. I made something similar with lots of Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

  6. I made this two nights ago because I was craving simplicity and carbs; what a coincidence to stumble across your post about it too! so absolutely delicious.

    Jan 23 2014 | Shivani
  7. I made this last night after I saw your post…so delicious and easy! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Jan 23 2014 | Ali
  8. Yes! So happy to hear that.

    Jan 23 2014 | Kate
  9. I have no excuse to stay home since it’s 80 rather than -8 degrees here in Southern California, so I ran to Whole Foods right after work, and made this for dinner. Thanks for sharing the recipe! It was delish!

    Jan 23 2014 | Esther
  10. How about adding some fresh spinach and/or muchrooms.

    Jan 24 2014 | Jane
  11. Made this for dinner tonight. God bless you, it was divine. Keep ’em coming.

    Jan 24 2014 | Joy
  12. Best? Hyperbole much?

    Jan 26 2014 | Samantha
  13. I share my opinion over here. And yes, I think this is the best. Lighten up.

    Jan 27 2014 | Kate
  14. Nothing I love more than a simple pasta dish.

    Jan 31 2014 | She
  15. I made this last night – oohhhhh my gosh, it was so good, we loved it! Thanks for sharing it, it’s definitely going to be one of my go to recipes from now on 🙂

    Feb 07 2014 | Sally