Everybody knows ‘spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino’. Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chili pepper. It is one of the best known Italian recipes. And easy too! You heat the oil in a pan, add garlic and chili, let it fry and then add the spaghetti al dente. Easy and delicious. But… it can be even better!
With just a few more steps, this delicious Italian recipe takes on the allure of a star restaurant. The garlic and oil melt into a creamy, soft sauce that contrasts wonderfully with the spicy chili pepper. This is also a great base for spaghetti con le vongole (spaghetti with clams) or other seafood.
You will not find any quantities in the recipe below. It is an Italian style recipe. It all depends on your appetite and taste how much pasta, how much garlic and how much chili you use.
- Olive oil extra virgin
- Dried chili peppers
- Parsley (for the garnish)
- Freshly ground Parmesan cheese
Bring plenty of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti when the water is boiling. Keep a close eye on the spaghetti. Because at 2/3 of the cooking time, you will transfer the spaghetti to a frying pan where you continue cooking the spaghetti. But now we are ahead of things.
While the spaghetti are boiling, peel the garlic, cut the garlic cloves in half and remove – what the Italians call so beautifully – the “spirit”, or the germ, the green core, of the garlic. Fry the garlic cloves with chopped dried chili peppers in olive oil in a large pan over low or medium heat, but not too high a heat. The garlic cloves should not get burnt. Once the garlic cloves are soft, remove them from the pan and crush them into a mousse with the side of a wide knife.
Now comes the “secret” of this recipe. Return the garlic mousse to the pan and add a tablespoon of cooking water from the spaghetti pan. The oil will foam or bubble. This process is called “emulsion”. Move the pan back and forth so that it foams well. Add some cooking water if necessary and move the pan back and forth again.
Once the spaghetti are at about 2/3 of the cooking time, transfer them to the pan with tongs or fork. Always add some cooking liquid so that your spaghetti can cook in the pan until “al dente”. When the spaghetti are nearly al dente, you no longer add cooking liquid but let the cream thicken. The spaghetti are ready.
Serve this delicious spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino with finely chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese. And a good glass of white wine of course!