Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic, Herbs, and Parmesan

Simple angel hair pasta side, with olive oil, garlic, herbs and Parmesan. Easy! Cooks in 10 minutes.

This recipe can easily be doubled. If you use delicate herbs such as basil or tarragon, toss them in at the end with the Parmesan.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side


  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water).

2 While the water is heating in step 1, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat.  Add the sliced garlic, chili pepper flakes, finely chopped herbs, and chopped parsley to the oil.  Cook for one minute or until the parsley has wilted and the garlic is emitting a strong fragrance.  Remove from heat.

3 The angel hair past will cook in about 2 minutes once it starts, so get everything ready. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta.  Cook at a rolling boil until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse briefly with cold water, just enough to stop the cooking, but not so much as to make the pasta cold. The pasta should still be quite warm.

4 Place pasta in a large bowl. Pour herbed garlic sauce over the pasta and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese  and freshly ground black pepper over the pasta and gently toss to combine.

Serve immediately as a side dish. Reheats well if you make ahead.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  1. Mike

    This reminds me of Cacio e Pepe which, I believe, uses butter instead of olive oil. I’m sure either would work fine!

  2. Nellie Yong

    I have never tried using rosemary or thyme in my pasta. Will definitely try this recipe but would like to up the nutrition value by adding at least a meat/seafood item and a vegetable item. Any recommendations? Thks.

    • Amanda

      If you’re looking to add meat/seafood and a vegetable item, I would recommend either chicken breast or sauteed shrimp. For a vegetable item you could try grilled broccoli or asparagus (cut up, or served on the side). :)

    • shawn

      I love this dish. I always add a thinly sliced jalapeno to the oil. This helps bring out the heat – you can keep the red pepper flakes in the cupboard – and brings a veggie to the party. Also, when boiling the angel hair I toss some shredded carrot into the pot for the last minute or so. Again ups the veggie count and brings some extra color to the plate.

    • Doug

      This is very similar to what I make up and Ill add chicken or tossin some snow peas kernnel corn and sundried tomatoes it is an easy and quick meal delicious no matter what you add use your imagination almost everything will work

  3. Fernado

    Delicios, the typical Italian Recipe!

    Try to add ExtraVirgin Olive Oil to your recipe, will appreciate the quality of the taste!
    Congrats for your web.

    Regards from Malaga, Spain

  4. ChesterS

    Why rinse the pasta? I’ve always found that the small amount of cooking water that remains on the pasta helps to spread the sauce.

  5. Kate S

    Hi! This sounds wonderful but: Don’t you lost all that lovely, wonderful starch when you rinse the pasta under the cold water?

    • Elise

      If you were going to add a liquidy sauce to the pasta, then yes. But since you are tossing it in olive oil I don’t think it makes much of a difference. If you want, you can reserve some of the cooking liquid and add it back in. I’m rinsing the pasta briefly with water just to get it to stop cooking.

  6. Kathy

    Been making something similar to this for awhile, I add a couple handfuls of broccoli (cut up small) to the pasta for 2 minutes while it is cooking. Great quick weeknight dinner.

  7. Lex

    I thought I invented this ‘dish’! Yes in my more frugal days this was my go-to meal. You can add Tabasco in place of chilli flakes for a strange yet similar twist. Even though this is a uni-student type thing, I still have this at least once a week.

    Things you can also add:

    marinated mushrooms
    Fried garlic (actually fried so they are hard and smoky, not the Asian-style ones)
    Truffle oil (calm down!)
    Quickly fried prosciutto bits (or bacon if we are harking back to the frugal days)

    Anyway thanks for the validation ;)

  8. Blake

    Not being a big fan of oregano, I switched it out for basil. And since I didn’t have fresh herbs I just used dried ones. I crushed up some dried rosemary and used powdered thyme. I did have some parsley in the freezer so I used that and I had a couple of bulbs of garlic on hand so the three cloves wasn’t a problem. I did add a bag of the tiny pre-cooked and shelled salad shrimp, thawed of course, when i tossed it all together. Sooooo gooood!
    I like the heat but someone that doesn’t care for it could leave out the pepper flakes as they add very little additional flavor, just mostly a little heat. And I haven’t tried it yet but I imagine if someone is allergic to wheat using rice noodles would work just as well. Thanks for a trerrific recipe!

  9. Jayne

    We just had angel hair very similarly last night. I added a little serrano ham and fresh tomatoes. So satisfyingly simple.

  10. Alesia

    I just made this stuff and it was very quick and easy and also has normal ingredients that you would probably have in your house already ( which is why I chose it) :) it’s pretty good… It could use a bit of tweaking though :)

  11. Evon

    So simple, fresh, fast and flavorful. I added chicken breast and had a mixed baby green salad w/ cucumber and strawberries on the side. Oh and of course garlic bread. Everyone loved it and asked for seconds. Great way to use herbs from ur garden

  12. Sarah

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be using this recipe as a Valentine’s Day treat on Friday! I’m going to be making bacon-wrapped scallops and this pasta for dinner and since I’ll be stealing your recipe for dinner I thought I might share my dessert recipe with you! You seem to like the simple recipes (which in my opinion are the best…) and this dessert recipe couldn’t be easier and more delicious. I hope you enjoy :)

    Dark Chocolate Cups with Raspberry Mousse
    2 bars of your favorite dark chocolate
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    4-8 Tablespoons raspberry jam (depending on if you’d like a more delicate raspberry flavor or if you really want to taste it)

    Using an old egg carton or cup shaped chocolate mold, melt chocolate and pour into molds. Be sure to make a cup shape by turning your mold around a bit to coat the mold and keep it from pooling in the bottom. Place cups in freezer to set while you make the mousse. Whip heavy cream until just a bit thinner than the consistency of whipped cream. Add raspberry jam and whip until just a bit thicker than whipped cream. Spoon filling into chocolate cups. You can get very creative with a garnish for the cups by piping fun chocolate designs onto wax paper with a pastry bag or simply placing a nice, ripe raspberry on top. The same recipe can be made with strawberry jam or peach preserves… the list goes on (I’m just partial to raspberry!)

    Hope my recipe gets you as excited as your recipe made me.


  13. Thomas

    I am cooking this dish on a regular basis. I really like it. Usually i use fresh chili peppers instead of dried ones. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  14. Mr. Helpless

    I am really a newby…. So feel free to laugh at any of my questions! Truth is, I am trying to break my fast food diet. I find cooking very frustrating sometimes because I don’t always know what the ingredients are asking for… So for most of you this is 5 minutes at the grocery store, it took me almost an hour. But I’m learning… Hopefully I get better at this. Honestly, the grocery shopping is the most awful part. There is way too many options out there.

    So for the “fresh herbs” I just had Rosemary… was the recipe calling for mixes of different herbs? I also didn’t know what “chili pepper flakes” meant. I found plenty of chili powder, but not many flakes. So I used red pepper. The taste was good, but the pasta was a little sticky – I was thinking maybe next time I should have added more olive oil?

    • Elise

      Hi Mr. Helpless, you can use whatever herbs you have on hand. If rosemary is what you have, then that’s fine! As for ingredients, I recommend doing a google search for the ones with which you are unfamiliar. Chili pepper flakes are also called “crushed red pepper flakes”. As for the pasta being sticky, you can add back in a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen it, and/or a little more olive oil.

  15. Chris S

    I’m 4 days behind on grocery shopping and had to scrounge to make dinner. I found two old packages of porcini mushroom ravioli in the freezer and the ingredients for your sauce, so I went for it. I omitted the chili flakes, but stuck to the rest of the recipe and it was incredible! My husband said it was the best pasta I’ve ever made. {beam} Thank you for posting!

  16. Brenda Lindley

    Absolutely delicious! I added more olive oil and pour the Parmesan on top. Stirred, then added to my wheat angel hair pasta.

  17. John Mark Osborne

    Visiting my mother in the mountains and she doesn’t get good seafood. Thought this would pair well with pan friend lemon butter scallops and a nice side salad. Thanks for the recipe :)

  18. Lisa

    I will try this recipe! i am a big fan of garlic! It sounds delicious! I will further update after trying it! Thanks for the recipe!