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Spaghetti with Garlic & Spinach

Scott Phillips

Servings: 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. Like this recipe? Check out more easy 5-ingredient dinners.


  • 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

Nutritional Information

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


  • 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.


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Reviews (14 reviews)

  • Caromcg | 05/08/2020

    Better than the sum of its parts - even for picky children & a grumpy Grandpa (the kids happily ate al the spinach). I made small changes: (a) upped to 10 garlic cloves, (b) added a full cup of pasta water + 1/2 cup of stock, & (c) melted in 1/3 stick butter at the end. Served with parmesan cheese on the side. This will definitely go in our rotation, especially when fresh spinach is abundant!

  • FINECUISINEFORMOI | 03/18/2019

    This recipe is seriously addictive because its quick, with simple ingredients and tastes so very very delicious.

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