Version 1 of Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

I realised the other day, as I was writing a fourth post on the classic and famed spaghetti dish, that it might be a good idea to post all four in successive order.  The post  you see below was written back in 2012, and the spaghetti eaten on arriving home at around midnight after a trip to London.  My blog at the time was called My Home Food That’s Amore.  And indeed, what could be MORE home-food than this!

Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino

This is perhaps the hardest easiest pasta sauce to prepare.

The easiest because it requires few ingredients.  Hard because it can so easily go ‘wrong’ if not supervised with tender love and attention and without the benefit of a huge appetite.

This is the classic pasta dish to make at 2 o’clock in the morning when you’ve come home after a night out and though it’s bedtime, you can’t for the life of you understand why you’re so damn hungry!  It is also the classic pasta dish to make when you come home and realise with despair that there is nothing in the larder (or rather nothing that appeals to you in the larder) and you’ve got to leave in a little while and have to eat something to keep your pecker up!  In other words, never make this dish unless you are properly hungry.

We had just got home after a short trip to London last January, and it was almost midnight.  We were tired and hungry and in a bit of a post-holiday bad mood and I wasn’t about to bend over backwards to redeem the situation without support from other family members.  Thus, knowing that this support was unlikely to be proffered, I suggested I make spaghetti aijo, oijo e peperoncino (that’s the Roman spelling of this dish and the ‘j’ is pronounced as if it were a ‘y’) … everyone was happy and relieved.  I honestly couldn’t remember when I last had made this pasta, so long was it since I had been starving hungry!  It just shows what wanting-to-be-healthy can do to you sometimes to ruin your food options.

Plan on measuring about 25 ml of olive oil per person (that’s just under 1 fluid ounce).

Pour the oil into a pan and add a little bit more just for good measure.  Then use 1 clove of garlic per person … thinly sliced.  If you like more garlic, do  by all means add more.  The garlic must cook in the oil at a very very very VERY low heat, and that can take quite some time (about 10 minutes even).

This recipe calls for spaghetti.  No other kind of pasta will do.

And, contrary to every other recipe for garlic cooking in olive oil (at least so far as Italian cuisine is concerned), the garlic must cook until it turns slightly (but only slightly) brown.  At that point switch the heat off, and remove the pan away from the source of heat too.  I added a very small amount of chilli flakes … I would have added more had it not been for my daughter who has yet to master the delights of eating hot food.

When the pasta is cooked ‘al dente’, put it into the large saucepan with the oil and cooked garlic and add some parsley.  Mix well.

On the plate.  At which point I added some more chilli flakes on my plate.

What can I say?  This is just so satisfying in an atavistic way almost.  Me hungry … me want to eat … yes … Me happy because pasta gooooood.  Mmmm.  Yes indeed.

7 thoughts on “Version 1 of Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

  1. A truly tummy warming pasta dish and one that I feel is only as good as your olive oil used. When first learning this dish I overcooked the garlic more than once. So your tip on cooking slowly is so correct. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gosh Ron, thank you for taking the time to comment! I agree about good quality olive oil being important but although ‘proper’ extra virgin olive oil will obviously be better, even ‘normal’ olive oil can deliver with this recipe.


      1. Only one in our little family agrees with you on that! Shame…because I wish I could! Still the good news is that when they are on something and I can taste it…then the item gets passed on to the people I happen to be with at the time!


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