Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Italian Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil)

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is one of Italy’s most famous and most basic dishes. It is a staple food that according to the tradition is prepared with only 4 ingredients: spaghetti, chilli, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

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Italian spaghetti aglio e olio is one of the simplest pastas there is.

What is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a traditional Italian dish, that is completely plant-based. In older times it was a staple food for the not so wealthy Italian citizens. They used only a handful of cheap ingredients to make a dish that is both tasteful ánd belly-filling.

Literally it means: spaghetti garlic and oil. Strangely leaving out the essential ingredient that gives the traditional Italian dish such a surprising kick: the tiny red chili pepper. Peperoncino rosso for Italians, or sometimes diavolillo (little devil). 

It’s the taste of the little red chilli pepper that gives this local dish the spice that brings out the flavors of the other (all very pure) ingredients so perfectly. 

Ingredients

For 4 servings

Spaghetti aglio e olio is one of those dishes that needs very few ingredients
Everything you need to prepare spaghetti aglio e olio.
  • 400 gr spaghetti
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 240 ml of extra virgin olive oil (about one glass)
  • 1 peperoncino, seeded and chopped (or another type of red chilli)
  • Salt

NB: most pre-packed spaghetti is vegan, but be sure to check the package for egg

Garnish (optional)

  • Parsley, chopped

Kitchen utensils

  • Sauce pan (for the aglio e olio)
  • Cooking pan (for the spaghetti)

How to prepare spaghetti aglio e olio

Prep: 5 min | Cook: 15 min. | Total: 20 min.

Make sure to chop up all your ingredients before you heat the extra virgin olive oil and sauté the garlic.
All your ingredients for cooking spaghetti alio e olio, all set and ready to go. The garnish of parsley is added just before serving or even at the table.
  1. Cook the spaghetti al dente. Add a pinch of salt to the water.

  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the olive oil in a saucepan.

  3. Slice the garlic, seed and chop the red chili.

  4. Sauté the garlic slices and the chopped chili in the olive oil on low heat. Stop when the garlic has a golden colour, so you don’t burn it (then it gets bitter). 

  5. Drain the spaghetti and toss it with the garlic and chili.

  6. Serve immediately.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Simple yet delicious.
What looks like just a plate of plain spaghetti, tastes completely different

Summary

Recipe: Spaghetti aglio e olio
Country: Italy
Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: 15 min.
Total time: 20 min.
Ingredients: spaghetti, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, red chilli
Categories: main dish, side dish

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