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21-Clove Garlic Spaghetti

Serves 4-6

Can’t get enough garlic? This recipe is for you!


  • 3 bulbs garlic, divided
  • About 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat or regular spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or 1 small fresh red chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, packed, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the ends off of 1 large bulb of garlic to expose the cloves. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the garlic in a foil pouch and roast for 40-45 minutes until soft and golden. Cool the garlic to handle, then squish the roasted garlic from the skins and mash into a smooth paste; reserve.
  3. Thinly slice cloves of garlic from another bulb (that’s seven cloves). Finely chop seven more cloves, the third bulb.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti.
  5. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, six turns of the pan, in slow stream and the seven cloves of thinly sliced garlic to the oil. Turn heat to medium, then cook the garlic in the oil until the sliced garlic turns golden brown and the garlic is crispy. Remove the garlic chips to a plate and reserve the garlic oil.
  6. Drop the pasta in salted water and cook for 7-8 minutes to al dente.
  7. Add the seven cloves of finely chopped garlic to the garlic-infused olive oil over medium heat. Stir in chili pepper and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Remove a half-mug of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta, about 3/4 cup.
  9. Add the lemon juice to the garlic oil and whisk in the roasted garlic paste.
  10. Drain the spaghetti and toss with the garlic sauce while pouring in the remaining starchy cooking water; adjust the salt and pepper. Top the pasta with cheese and the crispy garlic chips to serve.