Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino is the fastest dish you’ll ever cook! Just five ingredients and 15 minutes stand between you and the simplest yet most delicious chilli garlic pasta you’ve ever had.
There are lots of classic Italian pasta dishes that are super quick to make, but spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncino is right there at the top.
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Making pasta aglio olio e pepperoncino is so easy you barely need a recipe. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the dish, though.
This Roman pasta dish is incredibly flavoured despite only using just five ingredients. It also happens to be naturally vegan!
The secret to making a good aglio olio e peperoncino is the choice of ingredients, starting with the olive oil.
Next, you also need to master the cooking technique to nail your aglio olio pasta every time. The garlic needs to be golden but not burnt, and it may take a couple of tries to get it just right.
Why you’ll love spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino
- It’s a simple pasta dish that’s garlicky and spicy at the same time.
- It tastes like something you’d have in a restaurant.
- It only takes 15 minutes to make.
What goes into spaghetti with garlic and oil?
Spaghetti — The first thing to do when cooking aglio olio e peperoncino is boiling the pasta.
That’s because the sauce only takes a couple of minutes to make.
Spaghetti is the traditional pasta choice for aglio e olio, but you can also make it with linguine.
Olive oil (olio in Italian) — Choose a quality extra virgin olive oil as this sets the flavour base.
Even though four tablespoons might seem like a lot of oil, remember that there’s no other liquid going in the pan, so you need enough oil to toss the pasta in.
Garlic (aglio in Italian)— Most aglio e olio recipes call for the garlic to be finely chopped and cooked until golden.
Some recipes, like the one from The Silver Spoon, one of the most influential Italian cookbooks out there, mention cooking the garlic until golden brown.
The point here is to make sure you don’t burn it, so it’s important not to rush the process — always do it over low heat.
Red chilli (peperoncino in Italian)— Some people prefer fresh red chillies for aglio olio e peperoncino, whereas others go for dried chilli.
Depending on how fiery you want your pasta to be, you can remove the seeds or keep them in.
Fresh parsley — This is optional — some versions have it, some don’t. I personally prefer my aglio e olio with parsley, but feel free to skip it.
How to make aglio olio e peperoncini
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat, then add the garlic and chilli. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the garlic becomes slightly golden.
Season with a pinch of salt and turn off the heat. Add the parsley to the pan and stir well. Transfer the cooked spaghetti to the pan and toss with the garlic and chilli oil.
Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, with some extra fresh parsley on top if you like.
Recipe notes and tips
- Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino is best enjoyed immediately and I don’t recommend reheating it.
- Reserve some of the pasta water before draining and add a dash to the pan if the pasta looks too dry.
- You can make this as an aglio e olio pasta, which basically means skipping the red chilli.
If you liked this spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino recipe, you might also like some of my other pasta recipes:
- Pasta alla Boscaiola (Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta)
- Pasta alla Papalina (Creamy Ham and Peas Pasta)
- Spicy Nduja Pasta
- Pasta alla Norcina
- Tagliatelle ai Funghi (Tagliatelle with Mushrooms)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat, then add the garlic and chilli. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the garlic becomes slightly golden.
- Season with a pinch of salt and turn off the heat. Add the parsley to the pan and stir well. Transfer the cooked spaghetti to the pan and toss with the garlic and chilli oil.
- Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, with some extra fresh parsley on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 397mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.