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Spaghetti with Garlic and Basil

Patricia Reitz

Here's a very flavorful side dish that comes together in a matter of minutes.  I like to make it when I have leftover spaghetti in the fridge, but it's worthy of cooking a fresh batch of pasta so you can enjoy it.  Fresh basil is a must here - don't even think about trying to substitute dried.  

Just a few simple ingredients are needed for this tasty side dish.  Fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, unsalted butter, grated parmesan (or romano) cheese, and salt and pepper.  If you like a little heat, you can add crushed red pepper flakes too. 

And my favorite herb, fresh basil.  like I said before, don't substitute dried basil here - it's just not the same at all.  Wait until you can get your hands on some fresh basil.

And lastly, you'll also need some cooked spaghetti.  If the spaghetti you're using is cold from being stored in the fridge, either bring it to room temperature or gently warm it with hot water, then drain well.

In a pan over medium-high heat, combine the olive oil and butter until the butter melts.


Add the garlic.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds until the aroma of garlic perfumes the air.  Oh how I wish you could smell it!! 

Immediately add the pasta and toss to coat.  

Turn off the heat and add the salt and pepper...

The grated parmesan cheese...

And finally, the basil.

Toss everything together well and serve.

Pasta with Garlic and Basil Recipe WITH PHOTOS


Items used to make this recipe:

Spaghetti with Garlic and Basil

makes 6-8 servings

Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound leftover cooked plain spaghetti

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese

  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. If spaghetti is cold, reheat gently by soaking in hot water for a couple of minutes, drain well.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine olive oil and butter, stirring until butter melts.

  3. Add garlic and continue stirring until the garlic smells fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Immediately add the torn basil leaves, cooked spaghetti, and cheese.

  4. Remove from heat and toss to coat.

  5. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.