Pasta with Garlic Olive Oil Sauce

Mia and I came home with a little pasta from our pasta-making class, so I whipped together a quick dinner for us the next day using the handmade pasta and the easiest of the sauces we learned.

You can make this with either fresh or dried pasta. The only real difference is that you’re probably okay to start boiling the dried pasta before you finish your sauce.


  • Pasta
  • Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic, sliced
  • Fresh herbs

Again, no quantities here, because it’s to your taste, not mine. I probably used three cloves of garlic.

I used rosemary because that’s what we had. You’ll probably be safe with any herb you’d likely find in Italian cooking – basil, oregano, parsley are all pretty good options.

I’d recommend using some sort of unfilled pasta like fettuccine or linguine or maybe a something stuffed with just cheese. Our leftovers included a little of everything, so we just threw it all together


I’m going to try to cover this in the exact order that made it all come out at the right time for me. Dried pasta will take longer, so keep that in mind.

  1. rosemary and garlic
    Rosemary and Garlic at the ready

    Put the largest pot you have on the stove and fill it up to where a rolling boil probably won’t go over the edge, and set the burner on high. If you put a long utensil like a serving spoon or a spatula in the pot, they say it won’t boil over as easily. They say a lot of things I’m not sure about.

  2. Bringing the water to a boil will take a while, so slice up your garlic—preferably in nice big slices—and chop up your herbs.
  3. When your water is at a rolling boil, add a lot of salt. A lot. Slightly less than the Mediterranean. Let it come back to a rolling boil.
  4. garlic olive oil sauce
    Pretty Much Ready

    Put a pan large enough to hold your pasta on a burner. Coat the bottom with olive oil and turn it on medium. Add your garlic.

  5. Cook the garlic to a nice golden brown. Add your herbs when you feel the time is right. Woodier herbs like rosemary can take a lot more punishment than something soft and leafy.
  6. When the garlic is nearly there, take the pan off the burner and throw your pasta into the pot of boiling water.
  7. Cook the pasta until done. If it’s fresh, it’ll be 2 minutes, tops. If it’s dried, follow the directions.
  8. pasta with garlic olive oil sauce
    There must be a dozen types of pasta there!

    When the pasta is almost done, put the pan with the garlic back onto heat. Retrieve the pasta from the pot with a hand strainer or tongs and toss it into the pan.

  9. Toss to incorporate the sauce with the pasta. If the bits of garlic don’t seem to want to distribute themselves, add more pasta water. Yes, MORE water. If you’ve seasoned it well with salt, it will add flavor. Just splash it in a little at a time until it all comes together.

And that’s it. It looks like a lot of steps, but I’m pretty chatty. It’s seriously easy.

Bonus Round


After I served up the pasta, there was a bit of garlic and olive oil left in the bottom of the pan. We could have poured it over the pasta, but it was dressed enough as it was. So we poured it over some baby salad greens we got at the farmers’ market. Boom: instant salad dressing. It may have been one of the most delicious salads I’ve ever had.


Mia has reminded me that of course the salad has a generous squirt of lemon juice as well as some salt and pepper. Also, you should wait until the oil has completely cooled so you don’t wilt your salad. Important things to note!