Garlic pasta combines roasted garlic, al dente pasta, and freshly grated cheese to create a robust and flavorful meal everyone will love! Mix in sun-dried tomatoes and herbs and you have my ideal pasta. Want to go bold? This recipe can be customized with additional flavors like crushed red pepper and shrimp. Serve garlic bread as a tasty side!
Spaghetti works well for this recipe. Use what you like and what fits your budget. I cook the pasta al dente, which is about 10 minutes for the spaghetti I use. I boil the spaghetti in a large saucepan and salt (I use 1/2 tablespoon or less) the water before boiling. Cooking dried pasta can seem deceptively easy, but following a few easy and helpful tips will produce great results:
- Use enough water to submerge the pasta with room to spare
- Add salt to the water before boiling
- Cook the pasta according to the lower end of the range given for the cook time on the package
- Stir the noodles while cooking to prevent sticking
Making great pasta can improve the outcome of your recipes. Get additional tips for cooking dried pasta.
I recommend roasted garlic for this recipe. You can use minced fresh garlic; however, roasted garlic will add depth of flavor to this dish. Roasted garlic is a bit more mild, and this works well with the julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes. Here is a recipe for roasted garlic that I love if you need one!
I typically make this with parmesan cheese, but we also enjoy a Pecorino Romano as well. I use freshly grated cheese for this recipe because I think it melts better than the pre-shredded cheese. That said, shredding cheese can be difficult for some, and this pasta dish will still be delicious if you use pre-shredded cheese. Make the adjustments where necessary or convenient if needed. If you have dietary restrictions, you can cut the cheese in half or omit it entirely.
We make this recipe with and without shrimp, and I love it both ways! Additionally, when I make this with shrimp, I like to use larger shrimp, but you can use whatever you prefer. In the photos, on the day I made this for the blog, I used jumbo shrimp, 13-15 per pound. I know shrimp may photograph beautifully with the tails on, but I don’t particularly enjoy removing the tails while I’m eating, so I removed them ahead of preparing the dish.
Customize the garlic pasta with a variety of side dishes! Garlic bread, cooked vegetables, and a side salad are great additions to this recipe.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 to 6 generous servings
- Large saucepan/Dutch oven
- Frying pan/skillet pan
- 1 pound of spaghetti (cooked al dente)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (divided, 1 tsp for shrimp and remaining for pasta)
- 1 and 1/2 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
- 1/2 cup of roasted garlic (or 1 bulb of roasted garlic)
- 2 cups of parmesan cheese (divided, 1 and 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes
- Using a saucepan, cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions, drain, and return to the saucepan.
- Using a frying pan, cook 1 teaspoon of olive oil and shrimp for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside.
- Toss the spaghetti with roasted garlic, olive oil, 1 and 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and oregano.
- Toss in the sun-dried tomatoes and top with the remaining parmesan cheese and cooked shrimp. Enjoy!