Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

Revised 2013 May 06

Simple pasta meal

4 servings


2 heads garlic
1/2 cup olive oil, the good extra virgin one
peperoncino *, to taste
1 pound spaghetti
parsley, for garnish


Peel and thinly slice the garlic. You should have about a cup.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic ** and cook slowly (patience is a virtue here). When the garlic just begins to take on a golden hue add the pepper flakes. You will need to keep the slices separate so your fingertips might get a little warm. TAKE GREAT CARE NOT TO BURN THEM. When the flakes have a nice light gold hue remove from the heat.

Meanwhile cook the pasta, drain (always reserving a little of the water), and add to the garlic. Toss to mix adding a little water if desired.

Garnish with parsley or perhaps a chiffonade of basil. Resist the temptation to dress it up too much.

* Originally from central South America, Capsicum annuuum is a plant that grows in temperate to hot climates. There are 85 varieties of this species of spicy chili that in Italy goes by peperoncino an ingredient that gives spice to dishes throughout the world. Peperoncino was among the various wonders of the New World brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus. In the Americas, it held great value as a bartering tool in the spice markets.
** It's a lot easier to separate the slices while adding them to the oil than later when they are hot.

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