Recipe: Kale Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio never used to be my order of choice, but that has all changed in recent years. Now I finally see the appeal of it, and this kale spaghetti Aglio e Olio has become a go-to option for a quick and delicious dinner. So much flavour. So few ingredients!

Kale Spaghetti Aglio e Olio | I Spy Plum Pie

Ingredients List

  • 2 larges bunches kale
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 350g spaghetti
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan or other hard cheese


  1. Strip the leaves from the stems of the kale and then roughly chop into approximately 5cm pieces
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil then add the kale leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes, until bright green
  3. Remove from the water and rinse under cold water, then squeeze out excess water and set aside
  4. Roughly bash the garlic cloves to crush them then peel
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan and then add the garlic, stirring to cook for 2-3 minutes, crushing with a wooden spoon as you stir
  6. Add a generous amount of black pepper and continue to cook until golden, breaking the garlic down as you go
  7. Add the kale and toss with the garlic, cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, then season with salt and more pepper
  8. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 6-8 minutes, until still a bit firm
  9. Add the pasta to the kale, along with a cup of cooking liquid and toss to coat, adding more pasta liquid as required. Cook for 2 minutes
  10. Add to serving bowls then top with red pepper flakes, parmesan and more salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil


Kale Spaghetti Aglio e Olio | I Spy Plum Pie

That’s all there is to this kale spaghetti Aglio e Olio! So simple, but seriously so good. Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper you have because when there’s little else to create the flavour it really makes a difference. Don’t be shy with your black pepper either, you want the subtle heat it brings to this dish.

Kale Spaghetti Aglio e Olio | I Spy Plum Pie

My favourite memory of eating spaghetti Aglio e Olio was last year in Montenegro. We had just done our second giant hike of the day (accidentally!) and we were famished. My bowl arrived and I’m not sure it even touched the sides on the way down! Just what the doctor ordered after a very active day!

Now I tend to cook it up when I need a hearty but quick dinner option, and it still never disappoints!

Kale Spaghetti Aglio e Olio | I Spy Plum Pie

Who wants some kale spaghetti Aglio e Olio for dinner tonight?

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