Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

When life gets busy, this is my go-to quick and easy dinner. It takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish and it incredibly delicious. It’s a southern Italian pasta dish, usually made with spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, spicy red pepper and parsley. As you can see, I strayed a little from traditional dish. 

I start most pasta sauces with garlic, olive oil and chili peppers. This pasta dish is so simple that you don’t add much more, just parsley and Parmesan to finish, and it tastes amazing. It may be simple, but it’s not bland.

A friend of mine, Josh, brought over these Garganelli. They were so cute that I had to use them in this pasta dish even though it’s not typical of an aglio e olio recipe. I also didn’t have any parsley on hand, so I substituted peas. Some Italian traditionalists may be upset with me as a result, but I’m hoping they’ll forgive me. 

Some of the best recipes come together by accident. At the end of the day, taste is king, and this dish is absolutely delicious. 

Here’s the quick and easy recipe. Enjoy!

Aglio Olio e Peperoncino Spaghetti
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

A simple yet delicious pasta recipe. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, halved
  • 2 spicy red peppers, sliced and deseeded (or 1 tsp red pepper flakes)
  • 300 grams spaghetti (or other pasta)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (or 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley)
  • 5 slices of prosciutto (optional)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp salt for pasta water
  1. Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Add the olive oil to a large pan. 

  3. Add the garlic. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Cook on low heat until the garlic is golden brown. 

  4. Add the pepper and stir. Add the frozen peas and prosciutto (optional). Turn the burner off and set aside.

  5. Add 2 tsp of salt to the boiling pasta water. Add the pasta and stir until it is cooked al dente. Follow the cooking instructions for the pasta you are using in this recipe. 

  6. Use tongs or a slotted ladle to place the cooked pasta in the pan with the olive oil.

  7. Stir the pasta in with the other ingredients until the pasta is completely coated. 

  8. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water. Cook on low heat. Stir until the water has reduced by more than half. 

  9. Serve the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 


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