The ultimate fast midweek meal

Spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncino is a classic Italian dish.

IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, no-food-in-the-house, family

Spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncino saves the day

“Aglio e olio” means garlic and oil.

So, spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino, means spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chilli pepper.

Now, that may sound incredibly basic.

And maybe not that tasty.

But believe me, it’s a great little dish.

And has got me out of trouble many times when there is no food in the house.

The origins of this pasta dish

Of course, it’s Napoli (Naples in Southern Italian).

Neapolitans took simple inexpensive ingredients and created a dish that delivers a ton of flavour.

Spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncino

It’s one of the most popular pasta dishes in Italy.

And I can understand why.

I love it because it’s really easy.

And really fast.

And super tasty.

Despite only having 3 ingredients.

But like all great, simple dishes.

There are a few things to remember to get it perfect.

The secret to success

  • Don’t overcook the garlic i.e. don’t let it go brown – you’ll end up with a lot of bitter flavours.
  • The sauce only takes about 5 mins
  • Add anchovies for a bit more depth of flavour (optional)
  • Good quality pasta – check out dried pasta here
  • Good extra virgin oil
  • Don’t add cheese

Spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncino recipe

  • 450g of spaghetti
  • 60ml of olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • Chopped parsley (optional)
  • 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)
  • salt
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5–6 minutes or until al dente

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic and chilli gently, without letting them brown. At this point, you could add the anchovies and let them dissolve in the oil. This sauce doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to prepare.

3. Lift the cooked pasta from the water, using pasta tongs, and mix directly into the sauce.

Spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncini – a great Meat-free Monday dish or a classic quick ‘n easy midweek meal


Great Italian Chefs