Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach |

GAAAHHHHLLIC” you might be thinking. Why would you ever make pasta with garlic as a main ingredient? Because, as you know, garlic is a pantry staple and one of the fundamental ingredients of Italian cooking and who’s kidding -most cuisines. Garlic can add zip, spice, pungency, or even sweetness to your recipe depending on how it is prepared. It has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes…or in some cases of “bad dates” it has been used strategically to ward off unwanted advances. 🙂

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach |
I absolutely love garlic in our Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach. It’s a simple and delicious recipe that I uncovered in my pasta recipe “archives” – twenty plus years of torn magazine pages, post-it notes, and hand written note cards. I am so happy that I found it! Next time I’ll add some seafood like shrimp or salmon. This really ranks right up there as a favorite like my Tuscan Style Clam Sauce or our Simple Pesto Wine Sauce with Bay Scallops. Go now and put these recipes at the front of your pasta recipe file!

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach |
Another reason that the garlic works so well here is that you dissolve anchovy fillets with it when sautéing the garlic. I know you are thinking “Yuck!” “Anchovies?!” Believe me, you and your guests will never know and their saltiness and punch of flavor add just the right balance to the many garlic cloves. They do not make it taste “fishy”.  You’ve probably eaten more anchovies in your culinary journey than you realize. Often they are a part of salad dressings and sauces. Chefs use anchovies as their secret ingredient and guess what – so can you!

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach |
So don’t be scared and try this…I promise it will become a favorite!  Note: I didn’t mention the “a” word and my family, including the boys, couldn’t eat enough of it! And, no, this is not a recipe that leaves your breath or mouth feeling like you just ate a head of garlic. No garlic breath here…just smiling faces!

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Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Spinach

Garlic and spinach are the stars in this recipe…supported by anchovies that you won’t even know are in there! Delish and simple!


  • 1214 ounces of long pasta (I used our Tri-Color Angel Hair Pasta Nests, but you can sub any long shape)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced (please use fresh, not jarred)
  • 12 canned anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 3 bags ready to cook baby spinach leaves (approx 12 oz per bag)
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chopped tomatoes or sliced tomatoes, for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden brown.
  2. Add anchovies to pan, and using a wooden spoon, mash and stir them until they dissolve into the oil.
  3. Add capers and cook and additional minute.
  4. Add spinach leaves, adding one bag at a time, tossing continuously until it wilts. Add a splash of water or wine if needed. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
  5. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to spinach mixture.
  6. Serve on plates topped with fresh Parmesan and chopped or sliced tomatoes!


This pasta would be great served with grilled or sauteed shrimp or other fish – like salmon or orange roughy.


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  1. Presley on October 20, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Garlic makes everything better!

  2. plasterers bristol on July 7, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Yum, really tasty. Top marks for this, and thanks for sharing.


  3. Candace Galan-Calderon on April 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Looks great although I would definitely leave the anchovies out!

  4. SHARON MARTIN on April 29, 2015 at 11:20 am

    The secret ingredient is “anchovy fillets” and the recipe & pictures looks dee-lish………..

  5. Malia W on April 29, 2015 at 11:06 am

    This is one I’ll make and love .. anchovy fillets are the secret ingredient I use in a lot of dishes.

    • carey on April 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Malia! I hope you like it…you must be a seasoned cook!

  6. Kari Wagoner on April 29, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Love capers!

  7. Mary Helen Burgess on April 29, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Looks great!

  8. Pauline Vrbanic on April 29, 2015 at 6:18 am

    i love anchovies!

  9. Ellen townsend on April 29, 2015 at 6:11 am


  10. Kathy B. on April 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Wow! Very interesting tip about anchovies!

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