24 Hour Marinated Garlic Spaghetti


Tonight’s recipe came to me via a comedy of errors. Last night, my lovely daughter, Kylie wanted to cook dinner for Dennis and me. She made a wonderful meal!

Kylie asked me if I could show her how to mince garlic. I came over to the cutting board to take over where she had started with the garlic and show her how to do it. She had a lot of garlic in a measuring glass with olive oil. I asked her how much garlic she needed for her recipe and she told me “just one clove”. I looked at her, perhaps a bit perplexed because what was in that measuring glass was a lot more than one clove. I said “wow, that is a very big clove”. She replied with “isn’t that whole big piece one clove?” I told her that is actually called a head and the cloves are the individual pieces that you pull off. I informed her that this was totally ok, I could always use garlic. Using a slotted spoon, I started to remove the garlic from the oil and place it in a plastic ziplock bag. Kylie was concerned that I was taking some of the three tablespoons of olive oil along with the garlic. I told her this was not a problem, I could use the oil too. I poured her olive oil into my ziplock bag, adding 1/3 cup. When Dennis and I were first married close to 30 years ago, I made dinner for friends and also thought the head of garlic was one clove. It brought back a fun memory or me to share with my daughter. Kylie only got through half the clove, so that’s all we used for this pasta recipe … a half a head of garlic.

I ended up adding a quarter cup of olive oil to the bag of garlic and placing it in the refrigerator until I would need it. I figured I’d come up with something. As I was at the dentist this afternoon, I knew I’d need to eat something soft for dinner, so decided to make spaghetti with the marinated garlic. Marinating the garlic for this long almost gave it a sweetness to savor in this recipe. It smelled amazing, as well.

The other item I added to my spaghetti was parsley. This also came to us in error. Kylie and I stopped at Trader Joe’s yesterday afternoon to do some grocery shopping and to pick up the items she’d need for the dinner she was making us. On her list was cilantro. She wanted to be in charge of grabbing the items she needed, so as she did that, I picked up what I needed for groceries. As we were checking out, I noticed that she had parsley and not cilantro. I asked her if she really wanted parsley, or if we should grab the cilantro before finishing checking out. It was indeed the cilantro she needed, so the nice girl that was ringing up our groceries, sent someone to grab the cilantro. Well, they were out of cilantro. By this time we were done checking out and were going to just swap the parsley for the cilantro. She asked if I’d like to be reimbursed the 99 cents for my parsley. I said “no worries, I can always use parsley.” And, that is how I came to have the parsley for tonight’s recipe as well.

Our dinner was very easy to make, I didn’t even use any seasonings except the salt I added to my pasta water. I boiled my spaghetti per the package instructions and when it was just a couple minutes from being done, I heated my oil and garlic in a large skillet. I kept the garlic in large chunks for marinating and kept them that way for cooking in this recipe.


As you can see, there was a lot of garlic in our pasta. It was really good and tasted nice and light. I added the cooked noodles directly into the skillet with the oil and garlic and I also added about 1 cup of the pasta water. I included 1/8 cup of grated parmesan to the pasta and mixed everything together before topping with the chopped parsley. Once I plated my pasta, I added a bit of shredded parmesan.

If you are looking to enjoy a super easy, light dinner … give my 24-hour marinated garlic spaghetti a try.


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 head of garlic, cloves cut in large chunks
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced


Chop garlic (about 10 cloves) in large chunks. Place in a ziplock bag with 1/3 cup olive oil and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon salt to the water before boiling.

Once pasta is about 2 minutes from being done, put your marinated garlic and oil into a large skillet and cook  just until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the spaghetti directly to the skillet with the oil and garlic, along with your reserved pasta water. Start with a cup and if you feel you need more, add more. Add grated parmesan, stir together and top with minced parsley. Finish with shredded, fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

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