I dare say, this simple Mediterranean olive oil pasta is textbook Mediterranean diet deliciousness! It skips all the fluff and heavy sauces in favor of extra virgin olive oil and a few ingredients.
This simple olive oil pasta recipe takes inspiration from a Naples dish called “spaghetti agolio e olio. Or,”spaghetti with garlic and oil.”
In a typical spaghetti agolio e olio recipe, pasta is coated in a simple garlic-olive oil sauce, then garnished with parsley and grated Parmesan.
But this Mediterranean olive oil pasta goes just a little bit further, by adding a few favorite ingredients like grape tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, feta and olives.
A couple of tips for this olive oil pasta
First, this dish makes a feature of olive oil and relies heavily on its flavor. The oil is briefly heated through, but not cooked. That’s why, you’ll want to use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can afford.
Look for extra virgin olive oil that’s been cold pressed and with the lowest acidity you can find. If possible, find a single estate olive oil from organically grown and processed olives. More on this soon!
Remember, oils that are simply labeled “pure” have usually been heat-treated and refined by mechanical mean and, consequently, lack character and flavor.
Secondly, when making the sauce, do not allow the garlic to brown, it will taint its flavor. If it does brown or burn, you’ll need to toss it and start over.Print
Simple Mediterranean Olive Oil Pasta
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 9 mins
- Total Time: 19 minutes
- Yield: 4-6
- 1 lb thin spaghetti
- 1/2 cup quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 12 oz grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 scallions (green onions), top trimmed, both whites and greens choppe
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 6 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/4 cup pitted olives, halved
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, more if you like
- 10-15 fresh basil leaves, torn
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Follow package instructions to cook thin spaghetti pasta to al dente (mine took 6 minutes to cook in plenty of boiling water with salt and olive oil).
- When pasta is almost cooked, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lower the heat and add garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 seconds, stirring regularly. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes and chopped scallions. Cook over low heat until just warmed through, about 30 seconds or so.
- When the pasta is ready, remove from heat, drain cooking water and return to its cooking pot. Pour the warmed olive oil sauce in and toss to coat thoroughly. Add black pepper and toss again to coat.
- Add the remaining ingredients and toss one more time. Serve immediately in pasta bowls, and if you like, top each with more basil leaves and feta. Enjoy!
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