Quick and Easy Pasta with Olive Oil

5 from 1 review

This quick and easy olive oil pasta comes together in just 15 minutes with just a handful of common pantry ingredients. It's one of my absolute favorite Italian dishes and a family favorite in our house!


Units Scale
  • 16 oz. bucatini (or spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil + more for tossing the pasta
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/2 a cup of pasta water. Toss pasta in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. 
  3. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. You are just looking for the garlic to get fragrant and a very pale golden brown color. Do not let the garlic burn or get golden brown even.
  4. Add chopped parsley and capers to the pan along with half of the pasta water. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add pasta to the pan and toss to coat evenly. 
  6. Cook for about a minute or until it's heated through. Add remaining pasta water as needed to coat the noodles. You want a silky smooth sauce on the noodles.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with grated Parmesan and enjoy!



  • If your family doesn't like heat, omit the red pepper flakes. I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy foods and I didn't find this pasta to be too spicy for me. It's a very small amount of red pepper flakes spread throughout the entire pan of pasta. If you decide to leave it out, the flavor will still be delicious, but I recommend serving some red pepper flakes on the side so your guests can add some if they'd like.
  • Salt your pasta water! This is your first chance to season the pasta and this will add a ton of flavor to the overall dish.
  • Always save your pasta water! Try to get in the habit of always saving your pasta water because it is AMAZING. The starchy pasta water will help any sauce you make stick to the noodles better. It will also give your pasta a gorgeous glossy finish. Whether you're serving your noodles with tomato sauce or creamy alfredo sauce, add a splash of pasta water along with the sauce and watch how it transforms the dish!


Keywords: garlic olive oil pasta, olive oil pasta sauce, olive oil spaghetti