The simplest recipes are often the favourites, the ones with the most views on this website are croque monsieur (a.k.a. toasted ham & cheese sandwich) and affogato (ice cream ‘drowned’ in coffee and liqueur), hardly recipes at all. So here’s another of my super simple favourites for those nights when you need something tasty but really don’t feel like cooking. Spaghetti tossed with garlic, olive oil and chilli (aglio olio e peperoncino) … it sounds too simple, but it’s so delicious! And to drink? The delicious clarete from Alegre y Valgañon – an almost lost Spanish wine style made by macerating white and red grape juice on red skins for a few days to produce a slightly textural, dry, pale pink wine.
- 500g spaghetti
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Salt flakes, to taste
- ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
- Boil spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted water according to packet directions.
- Meanwhile, place oil, garlic, chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt in a large, high-sided frying pan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until garlic is translucent. Remove from heat, cover and set aside until spaghetti is cooked.
- Return frying pan to heat. Using tongs, lift spaghetti out of the boiling water into the pan, add about ½ cup of the cooking water and toss well to combine.
- Add parsley and toss again.
- Serve in flat bowls sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
What does aglio, olio e peperoncino mean?
Literally ‘garlic, oil and chilli’. It’s one of Italy’s most basic, classic pasta sauces.
Where does pasta aglio, olio e peperoncino come from?
This simple pasta dish is from the southern Italian regions of Campania and Calabria, where dried chilli flakes are often added to dishes instead of pepper.
What’s the best pasta for aglio, olio e peperoncino?
Spaghetti is typically used for this dish, but any long thin dried pasta, such as linguine, bucatini or bavette, works well.
Here’s all you need to know about cooking pasta perfectly (scroll down to Q&A).
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