Spaghetti Aglio Olio With Prawns

Irene's Cookery
by Irene's Cookery
4 Servings
30 min

There are just some classic dishes that I’ll never get sick off, and one of them is Spaghetti Aglio Olio. Spaghetti Aglio Olio, which means “spaghetti with garlic and oil” in Italian, is a traditional Italian pasta dish originating from Napoli, made by sautéeing minced garlic in olive oil with dried red chili flakes and then tossed with al dente spaghetti. Now, let me warn you that this dish comes with a lot of garlic. However, you need to have the garlic there because it is the primary base of the sauce and the place where all the flavour stems from.

My overflowing plate of seared prawns icon

Spaghetti Aglio Olio With Prawns
Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • Extra-virgin olive oil: 1/2 cup (+ 1 tablespoon to cook prawns)
  • Prawns, deveined and deshelled: 20
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper: To taste
  • Spaghetti: 4 servings
  • Garlic, minced: 8 cloves (or more to your preference)
  • Onion, sliced thinly: 1 whole
  • Red chilli pepper flakes: To your preference
  • Parsley, dried: 1 tablespoon

Cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add prawns, sprinkle with salt & black pepper and cook prawns till they are seared on both sides. Remove seared prawns from the pan.
In the same pan, reduce heat to low and heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add garlic and onion, cooking until the garlic is lightly browned and onion is softened. Then, add chilli pepper flakes and parsley, mixing well.
When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it well and toss in the pan until well coated with the olive oil mixture.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the prawns from Step 2 and serve hot.
  • The water used to cook the spaghetti must be well-salted. If the water is under-salted, your pasta will taste bland and adding salt at the end just doesn’t work quite as well. I always use a tablespoon of salt (any fine sea salt or table salt will work) per litre of water.
  • Use a good amount of olive oil. Too little oil will make your pasta dry and unpalatable while too much oil will make your stomach queasy.
  • Don’t you dare burn the garlic! Cook the garlic gently on low heat until they turn golden-brown. If you see that your spaghetti won’t be ready by then, remove the garlic from heat when they turn a light golden-brown colour as the garlic will continue to cook in the hot oil.
Irene's Cookery
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  • L W F L W F on Sep 13, 2020

    What to do if on a NO salt diet ? Just eat it bland?

    • See 1 previous
    • Irene's Cookery Irene's Cookery on Sep 14, 2020

      Thank you for viewing my recipe. With reference to your question, regardless of the dish you're cooking, if you are on a no-salt diet, you may consider replacing salt with spices and herbs. For instance, when I cook this dish for my grandma, I'll skip the salt in the water used for boiling the spaghetti, and add additional ingredients like onion and garlic powder or herbs with a stronger smell like thyme/rosemary. Nonetheless, I recommend that you speak with your doctor or a nutritionist on how you can still have flavorful food without the use of salt. Take care.