Roast the garlic ahead of time to cut down on the time it takes to make this dish. Roasted Garlic Spaghetti is not for the faint of heart. Garlic lovers rejoice! This dish is for you! Garlic can also be used in dressings or spread on crostini for a great tasting, garlicky appetizer!
ROASTED GARLIC SPAGHETTI
Warning: If you’re going on a date tonight, do not eat this Roasted Garlic Spaghetti. For that matter, if you are going to be in the presence of anyone other than yourself, do not eat this pasta. Oh, and if you have a cat or a dog, don’t think they hate you if they keep their distance this evening.
This dish has garlic – a lot of garlic! And you’re going to love it so much, you won’t care in the least that you’re spending the rest of the evening alone. Besides, the last time I checked, your favourite binge program on Netflix can’t smell your breath!
Roasted garlic is unlike any other garlic I’ve tasted. The strength and the pungency of raw garlic is completely transformed in the roasting process. The hard, white-ish cloves of garlic turn a dark, amber colour, and transform into a gooey, soft, paste-like texture. The new taste is mild and sweet and smoky – it’s perfect for a simple dish like this!
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Garlic – For this recipe, you will need two whole bulbs of garlic. Try to find garlic with a skin that looks clean, meaning that there shouldn’t be any loose or shedding skin. This indicates older garlic and the freshest garlic roasts best.
- Olive Oil – You can use other oils, but be sure you use oil with a high smoking point.
- Spaghetti – Any pasta shape will do!
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- Parsley – Fresh parsley for the pasta and more for garnish.
- Parmesan – Use freshly grated parmesan. Save some for garnish too!
- Dried Red Chili Flakes – This is optional, but I love the little bit of heat paired with the sweetness of the roasted garlic.
HOW TO MAKE ROASTED GARLIC SPAGHETTI
The first thing you need to do is to roast the garlic. To do this, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the top 1/4 off of each head of garlic and discard the top. Place each bulb of garlic onto its own sheet of aluminum foil and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each. Wrap the garlic in the foil. Keep the cut side up. Place them onto a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour. While the garlic roasts, cook the pasta, drain, and set aside.
When the garlic has been roasted and slightly cooled, remove the foil and squeeze the garlic from one bulb onto a cutting board and roughly chop it up with your knife, just to be sure there are not large pieces. Keep the other head of garlic whole.
Next, in a large skillet, over medium heat, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped roasted garlic, dried red chili flakes (if using), salt, and ground black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and squeeze the other head of garlic into the pan. Toss well to coat. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, but keep the skillet on the burner. Add the parsley and parmesan. Toss to coat. Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
Let me talk to you a bit about how to get the pasta just right for this Roasted Garlic Spaghetti recipe without overcooking it. Someone once told me that I prepare pasta like an old Italian grandma. That has stuck we me for so many years. You see, Dear Reader, I’m far from perfect, but cooking pasta is one thing I can certainly do perfectly. I don’t care what the back of the pasta package says, cook your pasta according to taste and texture. Ignore everything else. Here are my 4 steadfast rules:
Rule #1: Say no to oil!
Do you add oil to your pasta water before adding the pasta? Stop that right now! I don’t know who’s responsible for that, but I have seen some TV chefs do it! If you add oil to your pasta water, do you know what happens when you put the sauce on it? The sauce won’t stick as well as it should. It will slide off, because the oil prevents it from sticking.
Rule #2: Add extra salt!
Salt the water. I used to be so afraid of salting pasta water, because I thought it would be too salty to eat. Salting the water, before you add the pasta, is the only chance you get to season that pasta. Let the water come to full boil before adding your salt. The water should taste like the ocean. Don’t dump the salt in; stir it in. Preventing the salt from settling at the bottom of your pot will keep your pot looking shiny and new. If you have pots with what looks like a tarnished or unpolished interior bottom, it’s because salt sat at the bottom of your pot.
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Rule #3: Get that pasta moving about immediately!
Stir the pasta for a good minute when you first add it to the water. This helps to wash off some of the starch and prevents the pasta from sticking to the pot and to itself. I always pull out a piece of pasta 4 minutes before the package says it will be ready. Taste it. Chew it. It shouldn’t be completely soft. If it has a bit of bite left in the center, get it out of the water and drain it immediately. You can thank me later!
Rule #4: Do not rinse!
So many of us are tempting to rinse pasta under running water after it’s been drained. I think it comes from the notion that it gets rid of starch. Well, it does in a way. But, when pasta begins to cool off and dry, it becomes a little sticky. That stickiness soaks up pasta sauce, so don’t flush it out! A quick drain is all you need. Get the pasta into a bowl or onto a plate. Get the sauce on it and serve it up.
SLOW ROASTING IS THE KEY
It’s worth mentioning that roasting a head of garlic can take some time. It will take a good hour to achieve the perfectly roasted head. But, it will take you literally minutes to get it ready for the oven, and once you put it in there, you can set a timer and walk away. Just forget about it; move on to something more important than spending time in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove. (Truthfully, that’s my happy place, but I can totally understand that it’s not for everyone.)
Once you remove the garlic from the oven, let it cool a bit and then comes the fun part. No matter how many times I roast a whole head of garlic, squeezing out the soft, sweet, delicious cloves is always fun and never loses its appeal. It’s so satisfying watching the cloves of garlic melt out of their skins. It’s odd really; when you use raw garlic, it can sometimes be a pain getting the skins off the cloves. Not when it’s roasted; they just slide out.
OTHER WAYS TO USE ROASTED GARLIC
Roasted garlic can be used for more than just a simple pasta dish. If you’re a huge garlic lover, you can opt to use the roasted garlic as a spread on a sandwich. I think that would be a little overpowering for my personal tastes, but if you love it, then go for it!
Adding a few roasted garlic cloves to a half a cup of mayonnaise with a little black pepper and cayenne pepper or even sriracha would be more my style. I can’t think of an easier and more satisfying way to make a garlicky aioli.
When I posted the picture of the whole roasted garlic head on my Instagram feed a while back, my friend, Ruben, commented and said that he roasts garlic often and will add the roasted cloves to his mashed potato recipe. Doesn’t that sound lovely? I’m craving those mashed potatoes with roasted chicken – so delicious! Thanks for the idea, Ruben!
Another great option, which is probably one of my favourites, is so easy and so delicious. Smash a few cloves of the roasted garlic with a quarter cup of fresh chopped parsley and about half a cup of grated parmesan cheese, along with a dash of black pepper. Blend it well with a fork and smear it onto sliced baguette. Place the bread onto a baking sheet and broil until golden brown. That’s my version of roasted garlic bread – so good!
AND A VERY DIFFERENT PIZZA (OF SORTS) TOO!
I just thought of this one; partially because I’m starving and I can’t stop thinking about food right now. Roasted garlic cloves are very soft, so they are easily incorporated into almost anything. Place a few cloves (or a lot of cloves!) into some really good olive oil. Break up the garlic with a fork to mix it into the oil. Smear this liberally onto fresh focaccia bread. Top with a little bit of good mozzarella and bake just until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven, add some fresh basil leaves or a handful of arugula and serve! How easy and delicious is that dinner going to be?
Roasted Garlic Spaghetti dish was devoured very quickly in our home. Truth be told, I had just a fork full after the pictures were taken. Between John.e and McKenna, the whole skillet of spaghetti vanished. Although, I did hear a few whimpers of complaint due to the spice level. For me, the spice level was perfect, but I can handle a bit more heat. You can certainly adjust that for your own personal tastes.
There you go! Be sure to roast a few extra heads of garlic so that you can try some of those other recipe ideas. And maybe keep some fresh parsley on hand to chew on if you’re expecting company later. I hear it helps to eliminate garlic breath. Good luck! 🙂
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Easy Spicy Roasted Garlic Spaghetti
- 2 whole bulbs/heads garlic
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 500 grams spaghetti, cooked and drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the top 1/4 off of each head of garlic and discard the top. Place each head on a sheet of aluminum foil and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each. Wrap the garlic in the foil. Keep the cut side up. Place them onto a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
- When the garlic has been roasted, squeeze the garlic from one bulb and roughly chop it up with your knife, just to be sure there are not large pieces. Keep the other head of garlic whole.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped garlic, dried red chili flakes, salt, and ground black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta and squeeze the other head of garlic into the pan. Toss well to coat. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, but keep the skillet on the burner. Add the parsley and parmesan. Toss to coat.
- Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
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