Simple Angel Hair Pasta

Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. This pasta recipe is so incredibly easy and fast. Put your water on to boil and then cut your tomatoes and garlic. By the time the tomatoes are just about simmered down the water should be at a full boil and the angel hair pasta will only take about 3 minutes to cook. The perfect weeknight dinner solution.

Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

This post may contain affiliate links which I earn a small portion in sales if a purchase is made. Rest assured though, it is never at any additional cost to you.

Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner. 

Simple Angel Hair Pasta is an incredibly easy and luxurious dinner perfect for busy weeknights. Enjoy this meal as a vegetarian option or spice it up with any of the Recipe Variations included below.

Cooking With Fresh Tomatoes

  • Store Tomatoes Properly– Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. If they become too ripe, you can refrigerate them, but be aware that the texture and flavor may change.
  • Choose Ripe Tomatoes– Look for tomatoes that are firm yet slightly yielding to touch, with vibrant colors and a sweet aroma. Varieties like Roma, Beefsteak, or heirloom tomatoes work well. 
  • Softened Texture– Diced tomatoes will gradually soften as they cook. When they start to break down and become tender, it’s a sign that they are cooking. 
  • Reduced Liquid– Tomatoes contain a high water content and as they cook, the liquid will release and reduce. You’ll notice the diced tomatoes becoming more concentrated and thicker as the excess liquid evaporates. 
Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

Ingredients Needed

  • Angel Hair Pasta– Thin and delicate pasta variety that cooks quickly, providing a light and tender texture to the dish.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil– A high-quality, flavorful oil that adds richness and depth to the pasta dish.
  • Fresh Garlic– Adds a pungent and aromatic flavor to the dish, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Dried Basil– This herb contributes earthy and herbaceous notes to the pasta.
  • Fresh Tomatoes– Provides vibrant color, juiciness, and a burst of freshness to the dish.
  • Salt– Enhances the flavors of the ingredients and balances the overall taste of the pasta.
  • Italian Parsley– A bright herb that adds a refreshing and visually appealing element to the dish.

How To Make

  1. Put a large pot of water (approximately 5- 5 1/2 quarts of water) onto boil over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile prepare tomatoes and garlic.
  3. In a large frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic to oil. Cook until garlic becomes aromatic and just starts to brown on edges about 3 mins, stirring often.
  4. Stir in basil and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Stir in diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer over same heat. Cook until tomatoes dices are soft and just start to fall apart, about 8-10 mins.
  6. Once water is boiling heavily salt the water. Add pasta and cook according to directions on package. Reserve 1/3- 1/2 cup pasta water. Add pasta and reserved pasta water to frying pan. Toss well.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Recipe Variations

  • Add Vegetables– Feel free to enhance this recipe by incorporating an assortment of vegetables. Consider adding bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach or zucchini to the mix.
  • Combine With Protein- For a heartier and more satisfying meal you can add sausage, chicken, shrimp, meatballs, tuna, or white beans to the recipe. 
  • Toss In Cheese- Freshly grated cheese such as mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, ricotta, Gorgonzola,  Asiago or parmesan can add flavor and richness to the dish.
  • Fire Up The Flavor– You can make it spicy by adding in red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

Expert Tips On Cooking Pasta

  • Use a Large Pot– Ensure you have a spacious pot to cook the pasta, allowing it enough room to expand and cook evenly.
  • Season the Water– Generously season the water with salt before bringing it to a rolling boil. This helps to flavor the pasta and enhance its taste. 
  • Follow Package Instructions– Check the package instructions for the recommended cooking time. It is essential to cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it is cooked through but still firm to the bite. 
  • Use a Timer– Set a timer or use the clock to track the cooking time accurately.
  • Don’t Overcook– Pay attention to the cooking time and avoid overcooking the pasta, as it can become mushy and lose its desirable texture. You will know the pasta will be close to being done when the water starts to thicken.
  • Don’t Rinse Cooked Pasta– Avoid rinsing cooked pasta with water unless your recipe specifically calls for it. Rinsing can remove the starches that help sauces cling to the pasta.
  • Stir Occasionally– While the pasta is cooking, stir it occasionally to prevent sticking. This is particularly important during the first few minutes when the pasta tends to clump together.
  • Reserve Pasta Water– Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve  a cup or more of the starchy cooking water which can be used to adjust the consistency of the sauce later if necessary. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I use cherry or grape tomatoes instead?

Yes, but cut them in half before cooking.

Can I use other types of pasta?

Yes, you can use spaghetti, penne, campanile, macaroni, or rotini, farfalle, fettuccine, linguine and others. Cooking times will vary. 

What to Serve with Simple Angel Hair Pasta

Sourdough Garlic Bread

 Asparagus Salad with Egg and Prosciutto

Italian Chicken Zucchini Boats

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Italian Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Sorbet

Limoncello Spritz

Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

Simple Angel Hair Pasta

Simple Angel Hair Pasta recipe has only 5 ingredients but feels like an Italian feast. Add your favorite protein or leave as is for a favorite vegetarian meal. This pasta recipe is so incredibly easy and fast. Put your water on to boil and then cut your tomatoes and garlic. By the time the tomatoes are just about simmered down the water should be at a full boil and the angel hair pasta will only take about 3 minutes to cook. The perfect weeknight dinner solution.
5 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian/American
Keyword: Angel Hair, Angel Hair Noodles, Angel Hair Pasta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 497kcal
Author: Heather

Ingredients

  • 1 lb angel hair pasta
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-7 lg garlic cloves *thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp basil
  • 2 lbs tomatoes *diced
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup pasta water
  • chopped Italian parsley to garnish *optional

Instructions

  • Put a large pot of water (approximately 5- 5 1/2 quarts of water) onto boil over high heat.
    See Note #1 below for pasta cooking tips.
  • Meanwhile prepare tomatoes and garlic.
  • In a large frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic to oil. Cook until garlic becomes aromatic and just starts to brown on edges about 3 mins, stirring often.
  • Stir in basil and cook for an additional minute.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer over same heat. Cook until tomatoes dices are soft and just start to fall apart, about 8-10 mins. 
  • Once water is boiling heavily salt the water. Add pasta and cook according to directions on package. Reserve 1/3- 1/2 cup pasta water. Add pasta and reserved pasta water to frying pan. Toss well. 
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Notes

Recipe Notes
Note #1– Angel hair pasta cooks very quick, making it a perfect solution for busy weeknights. However, if you are new to cooking pasta to al dente, perfectly tender and yet slightly chewy, here are a few tips:
  • Use a Large Pot– Ensure you have a spacious pot to cook the pasta, allowing it enough room to expand and cook evenly.
  • Season the Water– Generously season the water with salt before bringing it to a rolling boil. This helps to flavor the pasta and enhance its taste. 
  • Follow Package Instructions– Check the package instructions for the recommended cooking time. It is essential to cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it is cooked through but still firm to the bite. 
  • Use a Timer– Set a timer or use the clock to track the cooking time accurately.
  • Don’t Overcook– Pay attention to the cooking time and avoid overcooking the pasta, as it can become mushy and lose its desirable texture. You will know the pasta will be close to being done when the water starts to thicken.
  • Don’t Rinse Cooked Pasta– Avoid rinsing cooked pasta with water unless your recipe specifically calls for it. Rinsing can remove the starches that help sauces cling to the pasta.
  • Stir Occasionally– While the pasta is cooking, stir it occasionally to prevent sticking. This is particularly important during the first few minutes when the pasta tends to clump together.
  • Reserve Pasta Water– Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve  a cup or more of the starchy cooking water which can be used to adjust the consistency of the sauce later if necessary. 
Note #2– This pasta recipe is a wonderful vegan or vegetarian option. However, here are some fun recipe variation options:
  • Add Vegetables– Feel free to enhance this recipe by incorporating an assortment of vegetables. Consider adding bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach or zucchini to the mix.
  • Combine With Protein- For a heartier and more satisfying meal you can add sausage, chicken, shrimp, meatballs, tuna, or white beans to the recipe. 
  • Toss In Cheese- Freshly grated cheese such as mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, ricotta, Gorgonzola,  Asiago or parmesan can add flavor and richness to the dish.
  • Fire Up The Flavor– You can make it spicy by adding in red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1330IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefedupfoodie or tag #thefedupfoodie!

 

Similar Posts

31 Comments

    1. Thank you Diane! That is so sweet for you to say. Yes, my niece definitely gobbled it down. She is a little girl who loves her garlic. ????

  1. a half a cup of salt? Is that correct or a typo? That seems like an awful lot of salt for the water. In the past when I have used a lot of salt in the water as per the instructions of some other recipe, it made the pasta too salty and I could not eat it.

    1. I am so glad you asked and no, that is not a typo. I realize that I need to update the post with a little better explanation of the amount of water to salt.
      One of the approaches to cooking pasta is to use plenty of water. Every time I cook 1 lb of pasta I use about 5 1/2 quarts of water with about 1/3- 1/2 cup of salt added to the water once boiling. All of the water is then drained with the exception of 1/2 cup. Once the recipe is completed there is really only approximately 2-3 tsp of salt (maybe 1/2 tbsp at most) for the whole recipe.
      Please feel free to use less salt but let me just reassure you, if you use plenty of water there should not be an issue.
      I hope you enjoy!

    1. Hi Stephanie
      Yes, you can definitely give it a try to see how you enjoy the final product. There is something about fresh tomatoes though that make this recipe a little more heavenly, but in a pinch I think canned tomatoes would work just fine.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m a student who was assigned a cooking project. At first, I was so nervous about it but then I found this recipe. It is so easy to make and was delicious. Thank you so much!

    1. Ken I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me! This is one of my biggest goals, to make cooking approachable and fun. Thank you so much for giving this recipe a shot and for taking the time to come back and rate it.

  3. 5 stars
    Tried something new for my grandkids, ages 7 & 5, and they absolutely loved this dish! And I loved how easy it was to make, giving me more time to play with them! We will be trying more of your wonderful recipes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating