Guajillo and Garlic Pasta

Guajillo and Garlic Pasta

Pasta con Guajillo y Ajo
6 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cotija, garlic, guajillo chiles, pasta, pati's mexican table, rosemary, spaghetti
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Pasta con Guajillo y Ajo recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 11 “Mex-Italian!”


  • 1 pound thin spaghetti, or vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 5 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • kosher or coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated queso Cotija, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano, ricotta salata, or Pecorino Romano
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnish

To Prepare

  • Bring salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and let it come to a boil again. Boil, uncovered, until pasta is al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
  • In a large skillet or casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once it is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Stir in the rosemary, oregano, thyme and marjoram, and cook for 30 to 40 seconds. Add the guajillo chiles and cook, continuing to stir, for another 20 to 30 seconds. You want them to gently brown, but not burn.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet and toss well. Pour in the reserved pasta water, toss and cook for another couple minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with freshly grated cheese and chopped parsley.

55 comments on “Guajillo and Garlic Pasta

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    1. No Kathy, Guajillos are not re hydrated for this recipe, they are just stemmed, seeded and finely chopped. Enjoy!

  1. Made this last night with some grilled chicken for a quick dinner. I added a little butter to the olive oil, and used dried herbs because that’s what I had on hand. Really came out great. Such a delicious and easy recipe.

  2. This is very tasty Patti. I had something very much like it on vacation in Mexico
    Some years ago.
    I want to make that plum cake you wrote about a few weeks ago.
    Have a good week.

  3. What taste does marjoram bring to your dishes? I’ve seen you use it before. I know oregano is smokey and thyme is a slightly lemon flavor. I know it can be used in a rub for meat. I just love how you put your twist on different dishes. Always yummy 😋😋

  4. hello, we just saw this episode yesterday and i am looking forward to trying this recipe instead of the simple sauted garlic and salt pasta “sauce” i sometimes make for our Sunday afternoon snack. we’ve been cooking spiral pasta because i don’t think our grocery store sells organic spaghetti in bulk, which is the way i prefer to buy many foods. i think this was the same episode where you visited an Italian shop in New York, which i still have to look up, and used a name i think your father used to call you that sounded like baldia but that can’t be right! we also can’t drink much alcohol and i can get sleepy just from eating too much food! speaking of drinks, do you ever make Margaritas with Damiana, which is the way we first had them in Cabo San Lucas?

  5. Hi Pati, this recipe doesn’t look like the “Mexican-Italian” version I saw on your show tonight. Something is missing – what gives it the orange-red coloring to the pasta? The Guajillo chiles?

  6. I can’t wait to make this. I love simple pastas and I totally love the idea of adding guajillo Chile. Mi amigo de Mexico is going to love it too! I love love love your programs. Gracias

  7. First of all, my husband & I both enjoy your show! I’ve made this dish several times, but recently decided to try it with rice instead of pasta. While my husband is a big fan of rice, I am not; however, this recipe made it delicious! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and recipes!

  8. Hi Pati,

    I made this dish a few weeks ago, and I loved the flavor. I also made your chicken chipotle pasta casserole with pico de guac for a few friends, and it was a big hit! I absolutely love your show. Your passion for cooking Mexican food has inspired me to try new combinations of flavors in cooking (and eating :). In fact, when I want a lift, I watch one or two of your shows, and I smile. Your delightful enthusiasm is contagious 🙂 Thank you Pati. Keep on doing what you are doing!

  9. I made a double batch just last week to take to work. We had it for breakfast and lunch. I think it has ruined me for regular spaghetti. However, I had pieces of guajillo chili pieces all over my kitchen and in my hair. I also missed the part about removing the seeds so it was quite warm but there was little left to take home at the end of the day. I used fresh herbs but scaled back the rosemary a bit.
    I ended up using kitchen shears for part of the chili ‘dicing’ and none of my sharp chef knives seemed to do the job. I think my hands are too weak. I will consider quickly and lightly roasting the seeded chilies and reconstituting in hot water next time around. Otherwise, for my part I would need to add an extra 30+ minutes to my prep just for the chilies….and I would wear gloves. Thank you for the recipe.

  10. Pati,
    I love your show and have learned so much from watching you and following you on your journeys. I have tried your Tikin Xic and it was a big hit with my family. Can’t wait to try this pasta recipe as well. Thank you.

  11. Pati,
    Love this awesome recipe. Plus your great show on the Create channel. I have already cooked 3 of your super recipes. Margaret Bernal

  12. Park I just love your show, and I have gone to our public library and checked out your recipe books. I have a whole bunch of your recipes and have made them for my daughter & myself. To this wonderful & delicious recipe I added some onion & green bell pepper. It tasted great.

  13. We love your show and this one perk our curiosity
    we did the pasta tonight but I did not remember
    if in your show you hydrated the guajillos or not can you please let me know if I have to hydrate or not please


    1. Hi Will, No need to rehydrate the guajillos. Just stem, seed & finely chop. Thank you for watching! I hope you try the pasta!!

  14. Hi Pati…do I need to rehydrate the dried guajillo chilies before I use them in the pasta? THANK YOU!!!

  15. Hello! Te descubrí hace solo unos meses, Pero mañana mismo empiezo por hacer la pasta! Vi el programa esta mañana, y creo que ya soy un fan!

    Saludos, desde Ohio!

    NG 🙂

  16. My husband doesn’t like Spaghetti and we were camping and saw your shows
    We love this dish. It brings the mexican taste which my family loves. Thank you Patti

  17. Delicious! It reminds me of a dish my Italian mother used to make, Chicken E Olio. Very similiar, but without the chilies. Looking forward to another season of your shows!

  18. I love your show! I’m a Spanish teacher and I love to cook Mexican food. Can’t wait to try this pasta tonight!

  19. We aren’t big pasta eaters as a meal here however I love trying all your recipes. This is yummy, I had left over Kofta (hamberger) & I mixed it altogether & of course it was a hit!

  20. I saw this episode this morning (26 march 2014) And decided to make the pasta.

    The meal is tasty but I had to used dried chilies as no fresh were to be found. The meal tasted as if it was missing the full range of flavor and I suspect it is due to the dried chilies.

  21. Pati,

    We saw this episode last night and today my husband made this dish, it was awesome, thank you so much for your show, I cant wait to share this recipe with my mother in Mexico.