Easy 'Budget Friendly' Dinner Recipe Of The Week ~ Penne Aglio e Olio

pasta aglio e olio on a marble table with a blue napkin

Although aglio e olio is traditionally made with spaghetti, this rendition makes the ultimate budget-friendly meal. It only takes a handful of staple ingredients and comes together in a flash.

Estimated recipe cost: $3.89

What is “Aglio e Olio”?

Aglio e Olio means “garlic and oil.” Traditionally, pasta aglio e olio is served with spaghetti noodles – spaghetti Aglio e olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish from Naples. You can also substitute - Rigatoni,Rotini, Spagetti or Linguine noodles if you choose.


  • 1 pound uncooked penne
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (approximately 6 cloves)
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh parsley
  • lemon zest 


    1. Prepare the penne noodles per the box instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
    2. While the noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir frequently and when the garlic's edges begin to brown, add the crushed red pepper. Sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a boil.
    3. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cooked pasta to the pot. Toss carefully, then stir in the salt and parsley. Allow to rest for an additional 5 minutes off the heat before serving.
    4. When serving, top with fresh lemon zest.
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