spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, oil and chili peppers)

Nicoletta February 25, 2015

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That’s a classic in Italian cooking. One of the most simple pasta you could ever make and yet so full of flavours. It is quick and it saved me in many occasions: I remember many nights after going out with friends, coming back home hungry and thinking right away: “That’s what I’m going to make!”

Take today, I was spending some time with myself (since I’m still in Rome and my husband is in Edmonton), I was getting hungry and I didn’t want to spend a lot of effort cooking just for one. Moreover, I’m the baker and he’s the savoury specialist 🙂 . So, I turned to this recipe which has never let me down.



That is what I photographed with my cell phone today on my way to work. There is an underground and bus stop right in front of the Colosseo, so the waiting time is less hard to endure 🙂 .


Anyway, back to the pasta. You wouldn’t believe that few ingredients can create such a simphony of flavours, but they do. Just pay attention not to burn the garlic, it would compromise the overall taste.

aglio e peperoncino

The smell of the garlic and chili peppers frying in the oil is smoky sweet and pungent, I simply love it.

Another important thing to pay attention to is the cooking time for the spaghetti. They have to be “al dente” and it would be best to finish them in the frying pan so that the oil can coat the pasta and all the flavours can come together.

If your pasta seems to be a little dry, a trick is to save some of the water the spaghetti cooked in and add it to the sautéeing pasta in the pan. Coat the pasta in the oil sauce over low heat for a few minutes, add a sprinkle of Parmigiano, then plate. Grate some more Parmigiano on top and you’re ready to enjoy this simple yet flavorful italian staple.


spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino

Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino (Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chili peppers)


  • 100 gr. spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a substantial pinch of chili peppers
  • few sprigs of parsley
  • salt
  • a dusting of parmigiano to finish


  1. Heat up a pan at medium heat with the oil and, once it is hot, add the garlic cloves peeled and minced, the chili peppers, the parsley and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. Cook according to the time indicated on the package (mine was 11 minutes), drain but keep a little bit of water in case the pasta becomes dry.
  3. Put it back in the pan with the garlic, oil and chili peppers, sauté briefly till the “sauce” coats the pasta. Pasta has to stay “al dente”.
  4. Dust with parmigiano and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or a nice parsley leaf.
  5. Serve hot.


  • Serving Size: single serving
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  • Avatar
    Reply Jim Delaney March 23, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Ciao Nicoletta! This looks so appetizing, and all the ingredients are on hand, so guess what we’re making for dinner today! cheers, Jim

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 24, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Ciao Jim! That pasta dish is so tasty and so easy to make. Think you’re going to love it! So happy you stopped by! 🙂

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