Spaghetti with Roasted Garlic Cloves and Mushrooms

Sweet and unique in flavor, roasted garlic enhances a simple dish of pasta.

I don’t think there is anyone of any age in our family who doesn’t love roasted garlic. Often, we pop a whole head in the oven to roast and add the tender, sweet flesh to mashed potatoes, or smear it on a baguette.

Pasta Savino’s

One of the best dishes I’ve ever had was a simple spaghetti with whole roasted garlic cloves and roasted garlic sauce at Savino’s in Manchester, Vt. The restaurant closed many years ago, and I never managed to coax the recipe from the chef, but the memory of that pasta remained with me and I knew I had to try to duplicate it.

Plenty of garlic!

It’s actually a pretty simple process, but involves three or four heads of garlic! The cloves are cooked stovetop just until tender and browned, and the whole heads are roasted in the oven covered with foil until extremely soft. Both turn out sweet and delicious, but the whole cloves are browned and beautiful, adding that extra browned-garlic flavor to the dish.

A star tops it all off

I used brown rice pasta, regular white button mushrooms, as well as a few beautiful king mushrooms I found at the co-op. They were tender, sweet, and delicious, and I saved them for the top of the finished dish just because they wanted to show off!

In the time it takes to cook the pasta, you can have dinner!


Spaghetti with Roasted Garlic Cloves and Mushrooms

Serves 6

4 heads of garlic

1/4 cup or so of extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. spaghetti of choice

1 lb. mushrooms, mixed varieties if possible, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 cup chopped flat-leafed parsley

For the roasted garlic:

Preheat your oven to 450.

Cut the very top off two heads of the garlic. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Fold up the foil, and put in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a quick check indicates the garlic heads are really soft.

Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Let the garlic heads cool, then squeeze the pulp out of the heads into a small bowl, mash, and set aside.

Create your own “garlic peeler.”

Separate the cloves from the other two heads of garlic and peel them.The easiest way to do this is to nip off the root end of each garlic clove an place in a metal bowl. Using another bowl of similar size, place the second one over the other, like a cover, hold on to the sides of both, and shake vigorously for a minute. Remove any cloves that are peeled, and shake until until all are free of their skins.

Resist the urge to buy jars of already peeled garlic. They are often imported from China and packed under questionable conditions. Plus, it has been my experience that pre-peeled garlic simply has an odd flavor that is not terribly pleasant.

Prep your vegetables:

Clean mushrooms with a damp towel and slice. Peel and slice the shallots.

Zest and juice lemon, chop parsley, and mix the two together and set aside for last.

For the dish:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it, and drop the pasta.

As the garlic roasts in the pan, the oil becomes beautifully infused.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high and add the garlic cloves an oil. Let cook until the garlic has softened and they are browned. Remove to a towel to drain, and tent.

Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook until they are tender and starting to brown. Add the pepper flakes and reserved mashed garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Reserve a few mushrooms if you like for final presentation, but it is not necessary.

Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain spaghetti, adding it all to the pan at once. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, and parsley. Mix up things well, and add a little of the pasta water to loosen it up if necessary. Season.

Turn out onto a large platter and top with the reserved garlic cloves, and a little more parsley. I served this with sugar snap peas, but you can use whatever vegetable inspires you.

single clove

© Copyright 2020– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with  active link and direction to this original post.

The New Vintage Kitchen does not accept ads or payment for mention of products or businesses.

Member of Slow Food


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Awesome recipe!

    1. Thank you! It was delicious.

  2. simplywendi says:

    looks amazing!

      1. simplywendi says:

        thank you Dorothy. 🙂

  3. Yum, yum, YUM! 😋🌿

  4. All ingredients I like. 🙂

  5. sherry says:

    i gulped a bit at four heads of garlic but i do love it! this dish sounds a must to make.

    1. I had it for my birthday since I was craving pasta!

  6. Angela says:

    Garlic, shallots, and mushrooms are an unbeatable combination. Thank you!

    1. So simple, and so good!

  7. This sounds so good Dorothy, I LOVE roasted garlic, heaven!

    1. I love it too, and I was so glad we ordered that dish so many years ago.

  8. This sounds heavenly, Dorothy!

  9. Carolyn Page says:

    Oh my goodness! I love this recipe.
    Dorothy, I would never, in a million years, thought to have so much garlic in a recipe. However, I recently bought a swag of garlic and will be cooking up a storm with it for dinner!
    Thank You so much for this recipe…

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Please let me know how you like it. The roasting mellows out the garlic and leaves a sweet flavor that is unique.

      1. Carolyn Page says:

        Dorothy, I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe for last night’s dinner! And, yes I was surprised by the delicious and sweet garlic cloves; plus the mashed garlic proved scrumptious!
        I won’t be so guarded about using more garlic in future… 🙂

      2. I’m so pleased you tried it! You can see why I was hooked all those years ago at Savino’s!

  10. chef mimi says:

    This is fabulous. I LOVE all of the garlic. And it goes so well with mushrooms. Lovely.

Please leave your valued comment here...