As if garlic confit wasn’t delicious enough on it’s own, we are taking it to the next level with this garlic confit pasta! Perfectly cooked pasta meets a garlic, alfredo-like sauce that’s so good, you’ll want to eat the entire pan yourself! If you’re a garlic lover, this is the dish for you!
What is garlic confit?
Garlic confit involves covering whole, peeled garlic cloves in olive oil and gently slow-cooking them until they lose all of their bitterness and become beautifully tender, buttery and golden in color. Not only are you left with delicious garlic, you’ll also have a garlic infused olive oil which you can store in an airtight container and use in a variety in dishes as well!
Why you should make this garlic confit pasta:
This pasta dish is extremely easy and budget friendly! With only a handful of ingredients, you can make this really delicious pasta dish that’ll impress anyone you serve it to. Say goodbye to jarred store-bought pasta sauce and try this one night!
Ingredients for garlic confit pasta:
- Garlic cloves
- Olive Oil
- Fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs (optional)
- Dried, cut pasta.
- Salted butter
- Heavy whipping cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Tips for peeling garlic!
Unless you opt to buy pre-peeled garlic at the grocery store, you’re going to have to peel a lot of garlic for this recipe. There are two ways to speed up this process:
- Break the heads into cloves by pushing down with the palm of your hand. Add the cloves to a container or large mason jar with a lid and shake vigorously for about 1 minute. Most of the skins will fall right off and the ones that don’t, will be loose enough to peel off very easily.
- Separate the heads of garlic into individual cloves and put them in a small bowl. Pour very hot tap water over the cloves and stir them around. The hot water will loosen the skins on the cloves and you’ll be able to peel them right off.
How to make confit garlic pasta:
- Roast the garlic in olive oil.
- Cook the pasta to al dente.
- Combine roasted garlic with butter.
- Reserve some starchy pasta water and drain the rest.
- Add the pasta to a large pan and create the sauce.
- Cook on low heat until sauce is thickened and coats the noodles.
Unfortunately, low and slow is the best way to make garlic confit. The low temperature ensures that the garlic cooks evenly and becomes super soft! If you stay patient during this part, the rest of the pasta dish will come together in no time!!!
I found my cascatelli noodles at a local Trader Joes. Trader Joes always has a few great artisan pasta styles that they switch out seasonally. If you can’t make it there, I’d recommend using a mid-sized pasta shape like fusilli or bow-tie instead!
Why should I salt my pasta water?
You may have heard that pasta water should always be “as salty as the sea” and that is because it flavors the pasta! Without salting your pasta water, the pasta itself will be flavorless. A good rule of thumb to follow is about two tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta.
I have another saying for you! You may have heard of pasta water being referred to as “liquid gold” and that is completely true! The starch in pasta water actually acts as a binder for sauces. When it’s combined with fats like butter or oil, it creates an emulsion which results in a silky-smooth pasta sauce! I like to reserve about a cup of pasta water and add just a little pasta water to the dish at first, then build it up as I feel it’s needed.
Using softened butter is important here because it is the best consistency for mashing with the garlic. If you think of it a head of time, just set one stick of butter out on your kitchen counter to soften a few hours ahead of time. If you forgot, you can set the stick of butter in the microwave and rotate it in 10 second intervals until it’s softened (careful though, it will melt VERY easily)!
Garlic Confit Pasta
- 1 oven-safe baking dish
- 1 medium sized pot
- 1 small bowl
- 1 large pan
For the garlic confit:
- 25-35 whole garlic cloves peeled
- 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs rosemary or thyme
For the pasta:
- 1 lb cascatelli pasta Fusilli or bow-tie can be substituted
- 1 stick salted, softened butter
- 1 cup reserved pasta water I only used about a 1/2 cup
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
For the garlic confit:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel the garlic cloves. ** For a faster option, you can buy them already peeled at the grocery store or try one of my time saving tricks that are listed in the FAQ section of this post.
- In an oven-safe dish, add the peeled garlic cloves, olive oil and whatever fresh roasting herbs you're using (rosemary is my favorite).
- Transfer to the oven for about 40 minutes or until the garlic is golden brown and tender.
- Let the garlic confit cool for at least 30 minutes.
For the pasta:
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Make sure you salt your water!
- Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes less than what's directed on the package instructions.
- While the pasta's cooking, fish the garlic cloves out of the olive oil and add them to a separate bowl (you can save the garlic infused oil for your next cooking project).
- Add the softened butter to the garlic and mash the two together to create a garlic butter.
- Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the rest.
- Add the cooked, drained pasta to a large pan along with about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, all of the garlic butter, heavy whipping cream, red pepper flakes, grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
- Let it cook on low heat until the sauce becomes emulsified and coats the pasta.
- If it seems too thick, go ahead and add a little more pasta water.
- Top with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and enjoy this deliciously creamy pasta!
**I am not a dietitian and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**