January 23, 2011

Dinner for One: Aglio e Olio

This is my go-to recipe to make when I’m hungry at dinnertime and I’m on my own. It’s easy, satisfying & made with things I always have on hand: pasta, olive oil, garlic & some sort of vegetable & cheese. It’s a great way to use up leftover veggies from the fridge and the best part of all is that it takes less than 20 minutes to make. My biggest tip for this recipe is: customize it! Use what you have on hand & feel free to experiment & have fun. 

Spaghetti with garlic, sun dried tomatoes & goat cheese
Aglio e Olio
  • 1 serving of pasta (I like whole wheat- any kind will do)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2.5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup vegetables of your choice, chopped (I had sundried tomatoes in the fridge but you can use anything: olives, artichoke hearts, broccoli, peas, spinach... etc. You can also use frozen veggies- just drop them in your pasta water a minute or two before your pasta is done)
  • Cheese of your choice (parmesan is classic with this but I had herb/garlic goat cheese open) 

To make:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add some salt and drop the pasta- cook according to directions. 
  2. While the pasta cooks, cut up your veggies & mince the garlic.
  3. When your pasta is almost ready, heat up the olive oil & butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add your garlic- DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC! It only takes 30 seconds or so to soften up and lose its bite. After this, turn the heat to low and add the rest of your veggies, stir to warm them and remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with salt & red pepper flakes. 
  4. When your pasta is cooked, drain it, pour the sauce/veggies over & top it off with cheese.  Stir and eat!  You may need to add more salt & pepper after you taste it.
  5. Enjoy with a fresh salad & a glass of wine.

What is your favorite easy recipe for one?  Let me know in the comments.  Enjoy!


  1. I forgot to mention that of course you can add meat to this too if you have some leftover or you want to serve with scallops, grilled chicken, etc. I typically do it vegetarian but the options are limitless!

  2. Another great dinner for one is a black bean burrito. Saute green pepper, grape,cherry, or dried tomatoes, onion, garlic and cumin (to taste) in drizzle of olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized. Add some canned whole Black Beans with jalapenos (drained) and heat through.Spoon onto a flour tortilla and top with Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese and a dollop of salsa and a couple of pickled jalapeno slices if you like it spicy. Wrap burrito in a damp paper towel and microwave about 50 sec or until cheese melts. Kick it up with a mixed baby green side salad dressed with salsa or lime juice, or guacamole salad.You could add corn, chicken,zucchini or even spinach.It's good with other beans such as pinto, ranch or refried. You can even use different cheeses. Open a beer and enjoy.

  3. YUM that sounds delicious & easy- thanks for sharing!!