Aglio Olio Pasta Senza Aglio (Garlic Oil Pasta Without Garlic Please!)

Aglio Olio Pasta is a traditional Italian dish, with spaghetti sautéd simply with garlic and olive oil (hence ‘aglio‘ for garlic and ‘olio‘ for olive oil). It is sometimes spiced up with other condiments as well, such as chilli flakes and seafood.

However, just like how some people would eat Bak Chor Mee without Bak Chor, my recipe of garlic oil pasta has to make do with no garlic as well (hence ‘senza aglio’), just to make sure the big guy laps up everything.


  • Water: 3 cups
  • Salt: to taste
  • Olive oil: for boiling and frying spaghetti
  • Spaghetti: 150g
  • King prawns: 3, washed; de-shelled, leaving tail
  • Corn flour: 1 tsp
  • Ground blackpepper: to taste
  • White onions: 1/2, chopped
  • Sage or basil leaves: 5, chopped
  • Chives (optional): a few stalks, chopped
  • Chilli flakes: 1 tsp
  • Closed cup chestnut mushrooms: 2, chopped
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: 3 wholes, sliced
  • Tomato paste: 1 tbsp
  • Cheddar cheese (optional): for grating


  1. Bring water to the boil.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil to water. Cook spaghetti for 10min.
  3. De-vein prawns and slice along upper part of the body.
  4. Coat prawns in corn flour and a pinch of salt and blackpepper.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in frying pan. Fry prawns on both sides till cooked. Set aside.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp oil in frying pan. Fry onions till softened and browned.
  7. Add sage, chives, chilli flakes, mushrooms and tomatoes and fry 1 min.
  8. Drain spaghetti and add it into the pan together with 2 tbsp of the drained water.
  9. Add tomato paste. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of blackpepper.
  10. Dish pasta onto plate. Set prawns on pasta.
  11. Grate some cheese before serving, if desired.


  • Adding a bit of the drained water from the spaghetti was a trick I learnt from the show ‘Two Greedy Italians‘. The hosts claimed that adding water from the pasta helps to enhance the flavour of pasta dishes.
  • Frying the prawns first will not only improve its flavour but also prevent them from overcooking. Slicing the prawns along the top encourages them to open up nicely too.
  • The onions were used as a substitute for garlic. Replace them with 1/2 clove of garlic at step 5 to regain authenticity of the dish.

Fiery rating:

1 person

Share This!
    This entry was posted in Italian, Pasta and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *