My Recipe Box

Spaghetti with Garlic & Spinach


Serves four.

This easy, five-ingredient dinner is one of those gems to keep handy for weeknights when you have no idea what to make. Quickly cooking the garlic over low heat draws out some of its pungency, leaving behind lots of garlicky taste without the bite. If your garlic has a green sprout growing in the center (the "germ"), be sure to remove it, because it will impart a bitter flavor to the final dish.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 large cloves garlic (1-1/2 oz.), halved lengthwise, peeled, germs (the sprout in the center of the clove) removed, and thinly sliced
  • 10 oz. baby spinach (10 loosely packed cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • 1 cup (about 2 oz.) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Combine the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic becomes fragrant and is just beginning to turn golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the spinach, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, tossing gently with tongs, until the spinach begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until it’s just tender to the tooth (see the package for cooking time). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the drained pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing and stirring to combine and blend the flavors. If the pasta isn’t tender or seems dry, add the remainder of the cooking water and continue to cook and stir until done. Toss with the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 740, Fat (kcal): 32, Fat Calories (g): 280, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 21, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20, Carbohydrates (mg): 94, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3.5, Sodium (g): 660, Cholesterol (g): 5, Fiber (g): 8,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I've made this quite a few times now and my husband and I love it! I have added a few ingredients that add a nice touch. I start by slicing brown or white mushrooms and cooking them in butter with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and Knorr chicken seasoning (bouillon) until they are soft and than set them aside in a bowl.In the same pan I follow the recipe as directed but double the spinach and add chili flakes. I cook small balls of spicy sausage in the pot I used to cook the spaghetti (less clean up). I add the mushrooms and sausage at the very end.

Amazing--added two roma tomatoes to make it a little more hearty and my boyfriend loves garlic so I put in a total of 10 cloves--it was so easy and flavorful! What a hit! A great dish for a quiet night in but classy enough for a dinner party.

I love when something so simple turns out so well with so much flavor. Literally five ingredients and less than15 minutes start to finish. I doubled the spinach and will triple it next time. I also halved the oil, but ended up adding back most of it at the finish. I also subbed Pecorino Romano with fantastic results. Definitely add a few red pepper flakes!

When I first read the recipe, I thought how boring. Thank goodness I read the reviews. I made this for dinner tonight exactly as written with the exception of the addition of red peppers flakes as suggested by readers. It was amazing! I doubled the recipe and added about 8 cloves of garlic more(we love garlic) This is definitely a keeper.

I agree with the comments of previous reviewers. 4-stars as written; 5-stars with embellishments (i.e. double the spinach, cut the quantity of oil in half, and add red pepper flakes to taste). Very simple and very satisfying. My husband commented that this is more the kind of dish that you would find in a high-quality Italian restaurant.

I agree completely with the other reviewers regarding the double spinach and red pepper - thus 4 stars for the recipe as written, but it's not hard to make it a 5. I find a little sherry or red wine vinegar at serving also adds a nice touch.

Perfect weeknight meal. I have made this twice now and it is surprisingly good for so few ingredients. This will definitely be a go to recipe for me. Like others, I also used less olive oil than called for (1/4 cup) and doubled the spinach. Red pepper flakes was a great addition! Careful when salting the pasta water or the dish can end up a little salty once you add the parmesan. I have had the pasta on its own and served it with fine cooking "quick chicken parmesan". Was a great combo. For those of you paying attention to portion size, 2 oz of pasta is considered one serving, making this recipe 8 servings and not 4.

An easy, go-to recipe. I usually reduce the amount of olive oil to 1/4 cup and use the whole cup of pasta cooking water. This brings the calories down significantly and we don't miss the oil.

This is quite simply one of our most favorite pasta dishes. As suggested by another cook we will also add red pepper flakes for a little extra punch,not needed though, this dish is wonderful on its own.

This is a great simple, cheap dish. I've made it many times and have even added a few ingredients here and there. Some of my favorite additions are a couple strips of bacon and/or a tbsp of goat cheese. No matter which way it's made though I highly recommend adding red chile flakes to spice it up a little.

Very good! Because we love spinach we doubled the amount; also we added red pepper flakes as we like our food on the spicy side. This recipe is going in our "My Fine Cooking" tab. Thanks Jennifer!

We were surprised how good this was, to be so few and such simple ingredients.

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