Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan is the perfect way to take a simple and easy side dish and give it some serious pizzazz! A 10 minute recipe that goes well with many of your favorite dishes. We love to eat it with Pesto Parmesan Pork Chops.
Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan
Have you ever eaten at Carmines in NYC? So good, delicious family-style, authentic Italian food. I had Garlic Parmesan Pasta there a few years ago that knocked my socks off. It was obviously made with very simple ingredients but was cooked in such a way that, even though I was expecting it to be the least flavorful part of the meal, it was actually my favorite.
That meal I had at Carmines is what inspired me to make this Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan. The first time I made it my kids begged me to make if the next day for lunch too. They still love it and request it often…I have one child who usually only eats his pasta with butter and Parmesan on it so this is a step up…there is toasted garlic and dried parsley in it. I’ll take that as a win!
Even though this recipe is made with angel hair pasta, you can use any pasta you like. Penne, Rigatoni, Spiral, Fettuccine, Spaghetti…whatever your family likes. I just love Angel Hair because it cooks so quickly and I can whip this up super fast and it has a fun texture. Like I said above, it makes a great quick side dish…here are some of our favorite meals to eat it with:
Serve this recipe with:
- Pesto Parmesan Pork Chops
- Baked Butter Garlic Shrimp
- Italian Sausage and Peppers (If we don’t make them into subs)
- Turkey Zucchini Porcupine Meatballs
- Or we just love to eat it as a simple lunch
Frequently Asked Questions About this Recipe:
HOw Long do You Cook Angel Hair Pasta?
Typically Angel Hair pasta needs to cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Depending on the brand of pasta you are using that time could slightly differ. The best thing to do is to check the back of the box. I prefer it cooked to aldente so there is still a little bite to each noodle.
What is the best way to cook angel hair pasta?
Angle hair pasta is very thin and can easily stick and clump together when cooking. The best way to prevent that while cooking is to make sure you use a large pot to boil it in. Also adding a tbsp of oil will help it not clump as well. For this recipe you will want to boil the pasta in at least 4 quarts of water. You also want to make sure the water is salted appropriately. You want the water to be nice and salty. I usually add about 2 tsp to four quarts of water. Always wait to put your pasta in until the water is at a full boil.
Can I use other types of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, this recipe works great with many types of pasta. I listed some above that work really well. There are a few types that I would not suggest. one being regular macaroni and also orzo or shells.
Do I have to use both Butter and Olive oil or can I just use one or the other?
No, you do not have to use both butter and olive oil in this recipe. You can use only olive oil if you want to. I have used only olive oil before and it is delicious that way as well…I just, personally, like the flavor butter adds to the finished dish. However, I don’t recommend using only butter in this recipe because when you are browning the garlic it will take a few minutes. The butter will cook along with the garlic and will brown as well…this will give it an almost caramel flavor if it browns to far. When you mix olive oil with butter for a recipe like this, the olive oil acts as a stabilizer for the butter and keeps it from cooking/browning as quickly as it would on its own. Using part butter gives a slightly rich and nutty tone that I really like in the finished product.
How to Make this Recipe:
- Multi-task by bringing salted water to boil in a large pot while chopping garlic and sauteing it in butter and olive oil with the dry parsley.
- Use a large saute pan to saute the garlic, this way you can just add the noodles into that pot once they are cooked and drained.
- Saute the chopped garlic until it is golden and then remove from heat. Also, make sure you salt and pepper the garlic while you are sauteing it.
- Quickly cook the angel hair pasta in the boiling salted water. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Drain and immediately toss cooked pasta in the sauteed garlic, parsley, olive oil, and butter. If desired you can scoop out a spoonful of the sauteed garlic to garnish with when serving.
- Add 1/2-1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If desired, you can also squeeze a wedge or two of lemon onto the noodles and toss again. This is an optional step and can be catered to personal taste. I like the hint of lemon.
- Serve immediately.
I know this looks like an innocent little bowl of pasta, but I’m telling you…you will have a hard time putting you fork down. There’s something about the simple flavor combination and the silky coated noodles that just begs you to take one more bite. YUM!
- 1 16 ounce package of angel hair pasta
- 8-10 large segments of garlic, finely chopped (I usually use a whole clove)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 large lemon wedge, optional
- Boil pasta according to package directions for aldente pasta. Make sure to salt the water.
- While waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook, add olive oil and butter to a large saute pan. (You want the pan to be large enough that you will be able to add the pasta once it finishes cooking.)
- Once butter has melted add the garlic, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Saute, stirring constantly, until it starts to turn golden brown. Do not over cook the garlic. Once it is starting to turn a light brown or golden, remove form the heat.
- Once pasta is done, drain it and quickly add it to the garlic, olive oil, butter mixture. Toss until evenly coated. Add grated Parmesan and squeeze of lemon if desired. Toss again. At this point you can taste it and decide if you need to add any more salt. You can also drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired.
- Salt to taste if needed and serve immediately. I like to reserve a spoonful of the sauteed garlic to put in the center of the serving dish with a little more Parmesan cheese...as pictured. Enjoy!
Don't forget dessert