Home » Recipes » Italian » Agliata


5 from 1 vote

If you're a lover of both garlic and Italian cuisine then agliata is the sauce made for you. No cooking required and it takes just 10 minutes to make!

Written By Brad Archer


If you’re fed up with using the same old condiment for meat and veggie then you need to try agliata. It’s a traditional Italian sauce loaded with garlic (and I mean loaded) that’s then combined with the fresh flavour of parsley and olive oil before being thickened with breadcrumbs.

Pot of agliata

You can use agliata as you would use other herby salsas such as salsa verde, my citrus pesto or chermoula. I love to roast Mediterranean veggies (think peppers, courgettes, aubergine) and then drizzle agliata over them as soon as they leave the oven.

Of course, if you want to stick with Italian cuisine, then this works really well simply stirred through your favourite pasta. I love to mix it with gnocchi before baking it with a mix of mozzarella and parmesan.

My quick disclaimer: You WILL get garlic breath from this!

What’s In Agliata?

To make agliata, you’ll need just 5 core ingredients – and one of those is salt! The main ingredient is, of course, garlic. Here’s a full breakdown of everything you’ll need.

Ingredients for making agliata
  • 10 Garlic Cloves: Obviously, to make a decent agliata, you’ll need plenty of fresh cloves of garlic. Do not skimp on this. And do not use garlic powder. You will not get the same flavour.
  • 60g Fresh Parsley: Parsley has a delicious fresh flavour that won’t ruin the main garlic flavour.
  • 120ml Olive Oil: You’re making a sauce so you need something to loosen the paste. And, of course, it’s Italian.
  • Salt: Salt isn’t just for seasoning. It will also help to break the garlic down when you’re grinding it in a pestle and mortar.
  • 50g Breadcrumbs: Although optional, breadcrumbs thicken the sauce slightly without impacting the flavour. If you have stale bread, then this is a perfect time to use it.

Substitutes and Tweaks

Raw garlic can be overpowering (even if I do love it myself). Try using roasted garlic for a sweeter flavour or black garlic for an umami flavour.

Parsley is the traditional herb in agliata but you could swap this out for other soft herbs like fresh basil or oregano.

Give it a bit more of a salty flavour by including a handful of fresh grated parmesan or pecorino.

If you like things to have a bit of heat then a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of chilli-infused oil is amazing.

How to Make Agliata

Step 1: You’ll need a large pestle and mortar to create your garlic paste. Pop all the garlic in with a pinch of salt and grind away until it breaks down into a thick paste.

You could use a blender or food processor if you want a smooth mixture but I like to have a little bit of texture in my agliata.

Making garlic paste

Step 2: Once the garlic is a rough paste, add the parsley and then continue to pound until the parsley has also broken down. You may need to add another pinch of salt at this point.

Combining garlic paste with parsley

Step 3: Add your breadcrumbs and crush them briefly. Stir the paste to ensure the breadcrumbs are evenly mixed with the garlic-parsley mixture. The breadcrumbs will soak up any excess moisture giving you a more pronounced garlic sauce.

Adding breadcrumbs to agliata base

Step 4: Pour olive oil into the mortar in a very slow stream and continually stir until you get the consistency you’re after. It will be similar to pesto in texture – if you have used breadcrumbs. You should be able to drizzle it but it shouldn’t be completely pourable.

Taste and then adjust accordingly, either with more salt, extra parsley, a little lemon juice or a twist of black pepper.

Mixing agliata ingredients with oil
Agliata Recipe

Agliata Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Course: SidesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



This is how to make the garlicky sauce, agliata, in just 10 minutes.


  • 10 10 Garlic Cloves

  • 60 g 60 Fresh Parsley

  • 120 ml 120 Olive Oil

  • Salt

  • 50 g 50 Breadcrumbs, Optional for a Thicker Sauce


  • In a mortar and pestle, begin by grinding the garlic cloves with a pinch of salt until you have a smooth paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, a food processor or blender will work as well.
  • Add the parsley leaves to the garlic paste and continue to grind until everything is well combined and you have a bright green paste.
  • If using, add the bread crumbs or soaked stale bread to the mixture and continue to grind until fully incorporated.
  • Gradually add the olive oil, continuing to mix until you have a smooth, emulsified sauce.
    Season the agliata with additional salt to taste, if needed.

Recipe Video

Leave a Comment