Though the name of this pasta dish is a mouthful and sounds complicated, the preparation is not. It is one of those simple, comforting kind of meals that can go from stove to table in under 15 minutes. This traditional dish which originated around Rome is one of the fine examples of Italian rustic cooking and mostly considered a peasant dish. Aglio, the Italian word for garlic is pronounced as ah -lyoh while olio, the oil is pronounced as oh-lyoh and the spicy chili, peperoncino is pronounced as pepe- rone (say like tone) - chino. And so spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino literally means spaghetti with garlic, oil and chili pepper in Italian.
This dish out and out belongs to 'garlic lovers' and uses loads of garlic in it while there is no place for any kind of cheese in the traditional versions. However one can add some generous amounts of Parmesan / Romano cheeses at the final stages of cooking to make it more flavorful. The minced garlic and the red chili pepper sauteed lightly in olive oil form a lighter sauce for this humble pasta unlike the heavy cheesy / tomato based sauces. The chili pepper gives the needed kick to this dish while the generously added parsley imparts it's flavor. Any spicy, red (ripe) chili pepper can be used or in lieu of it, go with crushed chili flakes. I used 8 wholegrain spaghetti in this recipe and spaghetti can be replaced in this dish with any long pasta shapes like linguine, angel hair pasta or others.
Ingredients: (Yield 2 servings)
1/2 pound / 8 oz. spaghetti
Salt to taste
3 - 4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely minced (I minced finely.)
1 chili pepper, finely sliced / dried red chili flakes to taste
3 Tbsp. minced parsley (This is entirely optional.)
* Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. There is going to be no salt in the sauce and so add salt accordingly.
* Add spaghetti and cook according to the package directions, al dente.
* Drain the cooked pasta in a colander, reserving about 2 - 3 tbsp of the pasta water.
* In the mean while, heat olive oil, garlic and chili in a frying pan, on medium heat. Cook the garlic until it starts to turn light gold in color. Add the pasta along with the reserved water to the pan. Give it a stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds. Turn off the stove and serve immediately.
This goes to Blogging Marathon #50, under the theme of "Pasta". Check out the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.