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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with crispy toppings

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5 from 2 reviews


A delicious spin on the classic aglio e olio pasta dish. Topped with crunchy cannellini beans and sourdough for the perfect finishing touch.


For the topping:

1 x 400g can cannellini beans

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 x slice sourdough, cut into roughly 1cm pieces

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided

For the pasta

200g pasta of your choice

1/3 cup olive oil

5 - 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp chilli flakes (more if you like but also less if you don't like spice)

1 cup loosely packed cup flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped (you end up with 2 tbsp chopped)


Make the topping:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400f)
  2. Rinse the beans well in a sieve and then pat try with paper hand towels to get them as dry as you can.
  3. Gently toss in a bowl with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, the dried oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and set aside
  5. Toss the sourdough pieces with 1 tbsp olive oil and place on a lined baking tray.
  6. Place the cannellini beans in the oven for 15 mins (I put them towards the top of the oven)
  7. After 15 mins lower the heat to 180c (350f), give the beans a toss and add the sourdough tray in. 
  8. Keep baking both for another 15 - 20 mins until the beans and sourdough are both crisp and slightly golden (you may have to take one out before the other so please keep a good eye on them!)
  9. Once both are done, mix them together and give them a good sprinkling of salt. Set aside.

Make the pasta

  1. Cook your pasta in a pot of well salted water, undercooking by a minute (check your packet for cooking time)
  2. When your pasta has about 6 - 7 minutes to go put the oil and garlic into a fry pan and heat over a low heat.
  3. After a couple of minutes increase the heat to medium. You want the garlic to sizzle ever so slightly but NOT burn.
  4. When the pasta is almost done add the chilli flakes and let them sizzle for 30 seconds.
  5. When the pasta is done put 1/2 cup pasta water into the oil, it will bubble a lot so turn the heat down if it is too much! Whisk and shake the pan at the same time to really emulsify the sauce. 
  6. Add your pasta straight in, giving it a good toss with some tongs.
  7. Let it bubble away for a good minute or two to thicken slightly. Add more pasta water if you need. It should not be on a high heat here just a nice gentle bubble.
  8. Add the chopped parsley, toss then serve between bowls.
  9. Top with as much of the topping as you like and feel free to add some parmesan too (if you aren't vegan as this recipe is incidentally vegan!)


  1. Feel free to substitute the oregano with any other dried herb you like.
  2. Spaghetti is the traditional pasta choice, I used linguine as that is what I had. It will work with absolutely any shape.
  3. Salting your pasta water is key in this recipe as there is no seasoning. You might want to add a good crack of salt on the finished dish, just taste to check!
  4. Don't be afraid to be vigorous when you add the pasta water into the oil, it needs to be whisked really hard to turn it into a sauce.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes