Rachel Ray’s Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Garlic & Oil) and Spicy Prawns

As you can see, this is Rachel Ray’s version of Spaghetti Aglio Olio and Spicy Prawns. It’s one of the simplest and easiest pasta you can whip up, and you’ll be surprised how good it tastes.

Garlic and olive oil as the main ingredients and that’s it? You bet. But if you’re wondering what else you can add to give it more character then better include this on your shopping list – anchovies. I’ve used salted anchovy fillets in olive oil.   

Yes, Anchovies

This key ingredient, once it dissolves in oil and garlic, will give your pasta a lovely nutty and salty flavour that makes you wonder where that flavour bomb is coming from. Its presence is subtle yet undeniable.

You might have cooked Spaghetti Aglio Olio more than a dozen times, but I suggest you give this one a try. Go a bit further and top it with spicy prawns and you’ll revel in one delightful meal!

Spicy Prawns

Flat-Leaf Parsley vs Curly or Common Parsley

We also need handfuls of flat-leaf parsley for a kick of freshness. We want this kind because of its stronger taste and aroma.

But I had one problem: There was no flat-leaf parsley anywhere near my place even after I hunted down at least six stores! Was it out of season? Still hell-bent on making this dish, I settled for curly parsley. Only that one was thicker and tougher in texture.

What did I do with it?

After a good wash, I chopped the parsley finely and stirred it in the garlic and oil mixture and cooked until just wilted. So, yeah, I tossed in the cooked spaghetti last instead of the parsley.

What else did I do differently from the original recipe?

I set aside a cup of pasta water and added it to the garlic and oil mixture, then let it simmer for a few minutes. I find that it coats the pasta well, making it more glossy, and prevents it from looking dry.

Also, you might have noticed I didn’t add red pepper flakes to the garlic and oil mixture. It was because my prawns were already kick-ass spicy. A contrast of garlicky, fresh, and lush noodles and the heat from the spicy prawns was the perfect match for me.

But feel free to add red pepper flakes to both your pasta and prawns if you’re up to it. If this is the mix you’re going for then go ahead and enjoy.

How To Make Rachel Ray's Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Rachel Ray's Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Garlic & Oil) and Spicy Prawns

Garlic and oil spaghetti with a twist! Get the key ingredient that will make you love this pasta even more. Top it with juicy and spicy prawns and find yourself enjoying it better than you thought!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: By Rachel Ray



  • 1/4 cup (4 turns around the pan in a light stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (2-ounce) tin anchovy fillets
  • 6-8 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes Note 1
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley Note 2 a couple of handfuls
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti cooked to al dente


  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • Coarse salt, about 1 teaspoon
  • 2 tbsp (a couple of generous drizzles) extra-virgin olive oil


  • Combine shrimp with next 6 ingredients and toss to coat shrimp evenly.
  • Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, then add half of the shrimp. Cook shrimp 3 minutes until pink and just firm. Remove shrimp to a warm platter and repeat process with remaining shrimp.
  • Return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add anchovies, garlic, and pepper flakes to oil. Break up anchovies with a wooden spoon until they melt away into the oil and garlic mixture.
  • Toss spaghetti in the pan with parsley and the garlic oil, then season with a little coarse salt, to your taste. Top servings of garlic and oil spaghetti with spicy shrimp.
  • Prep your garlic and parsley for aglio olio and set them, as well as drained pasta and remaining ingredients all within arm's reach of your stove top.
  • The aroma will be intense! Cooked anchovies have a salted-nutty (rather than fishy) taste that compliments the garlic as it sweetens and softens.


Note 1 I didn’t add red pepper flakes to the garlic and oil mixture anymore because my prawns were already spicy.
Note 2 I used curly parsley instead because the flat-leaf parsley was not available at the time. It was finely chopped and stirred into the garlic and oil mixture and cooked until just wilted. I tossed in the cooked spaghetti last.
* Prepare the spicy prawns while the pasta is cooking.