Aglio, Oglio e Peperoncino

It’s time for pasta, and boy have I got a recipe for you!  It’s a super simple, super quick dinner for 2 that will keep you coming back time after time.  It’s spicy, garlicky, creamy, and savory…it’s simply perfection.  So pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper, and get ready, because this one pan dish will be done in a flash.

Even in Italian culture this is known for being a quick dish, and is often referred to as “the Midnight Pasta.”  I have read in many a cookbook that this is a pasta famous for being made late at night (hence the name), both because of it’s ease of making, but also simplicity of ingredients.  Here’s how the story goes…After a joyful night out with friends (drinking), everyone returns home hungry and far past any time that a restaurant would still be open.  Limited by the ingredients in their cupboard, they make Midnight Pasta.  Maybe story, maybe truth, either way, delicious.

6 ounces Fresh Spaghetti or De Cecco Fedelini
Generous 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Large Garlic Cloves minced
2 Pinches Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
1/2 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/8 Tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Large Pinch Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Reserved Pasta Water

My inspiration for this recipe comes from the cookbook, “100 Ways to Be Pasta,” by Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene.  Although, I have adjusted the recipe to our liking, both from experience and pulling from other places of inspiration.  And much like my Mom’s famous Chili, this recipe is very flexible and adaptable to your liking.  So feel free to tszuj it up wherever you like!

As I promised, this recipe is simple and will be done in a flash.  So make sure that you have all of your ingredients prepped and your water ready and boiling.  All set?  You bet!  Ready-o?  Let’s go!

Set your pan (I use a 10″ skillet) on the burner with your heat set to medium.  Add in your olive oil and minced garlic, and let it simmer gently.  Make sure to watch your heat, because you don’t want to burn your garlic, you just want it to get ever so slightly toasty.  I tend to start my pan on medium heat for the first minute or two, and then turn it down to low.  (If you are using dry pasta, make sure that you have added it to the water at the same time you started this step.)

After the garlic has gotten a little bit of color and is quite fragrant, it’s time to add in your crushed red pepper, freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.  (This is also when I would add our fresh pasta to the boiling water.)

The seasonings need only cook as long as it takes to cook your pasta – so about a minute.  You wouldn’t want to leave it on the heat any longer, otherwise your garlic might burn.  As soon as your pasta is to your liking (al dente in our house), ladle it directly into your sauce pan.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and make sure to add in about 1/3 cup of the pasta water to help create the sauce.  As the sauce pulls together, toss in your fresh parsley, and presto!  Pasta for two!

Some like it just as is, but in our house, cheese is always a must.  So after plating our pastas, you better believe that a generous scoop of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano is sprinkled on top.

Now we’re talking. Two big bowls of piping hot pasta topped with fresh cheese.  Be warned, these won’t last very long.

But since it only takes a matter of minutes to prepare, who cares.  You could always throw together another round if need be.  Whether for lunch, dinner or even in the middle of the night, I’m pretty sure that this easy pasta is going to become a regular for you.  Buon appetito!


3 Replies to “Aglio, Oglio e Peperoncino”

  1. I must say, this dish is amazing with dry pasta, but when we eat it with your homemade pasta, it’s just bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

  2. This looks nothing short of ‘outstanding’!

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