Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Recipe

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe is very simple to make. You need just few genuine ingredients for a guaranteed success!

This recipe in Italy is called” Aglio Olio e Peperoncino.” Yes, because chili pepper is the other key ingredient in this recipe. In fact, it’s one of the traditional Italian dishes that has to be spicy. You can’t remove the chili pepper, otherwise you make another dish!

Spaghetti aglio e olio is a pasta recipe born in Campania, a region in southern Italy. This recipe is a classic example of Italian cuisine that uses only a few simple ingredients.

The protagonist is extra virgin olive oil, so make sure you choose one of excellent quality.

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Spaghetti with garlic, oil and red hot chilli pepper in Italy is a beloved dish that we often eat for dinner or as an impromptu midnight snack with friends. Four quality ingredients, a few minutes of time and you get one of the most famous first courses of the Italian culinary tradition.

Spaghetti aglio e olio is a typical vegetarian dish of the Mediterranean diet, rich in flavor and healthy. This one we are about to show you is the authentic Italian garlic and oil pasta recipe.

Easy, tasty and quick, let’s see how to make spaghetti aglio e olio recipe. In 15 minutes you’ll bring to the table a mouth-watering dish!

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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. The Authentic Recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 Min
  • Cook Time: 10 Min
  • Servings: 4


  • 350 g (3/4 pound) of spaghetti
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 or 2 fresh hot red chilies or dried hot red chilies
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Try this authentic Umbrian extra virgin olive oil, perfect for this recipe
  • a handful of chopped fresh parsley (optional)

How to Make Aglio e Olio Recipe

spaghetti aglio e olio step 1

Step 1) – Aglio e olio recipe is quick and easy to make. First we recommend that you cook the pasta.

Then in a large pot, bring plenty of water to a boil. Remember the rule 1:100:10, that is for every 100 g (3,50 oz) of pasta you need 1 liter (4 cups) of water and 10 g (3/4 tablespoon) of coarse salt.

When it boils, add the coarse salt. Then add the pasta and cook the spaghetti, stirring occasionally.

Follow the cooking time indicated on the package (usually 8 to 12 minutes).

spaghetti aglio e olio step 2

Step 2) – While the pasta is cooking, clean the garlic cloves. Cut them in half and remove the inner part. Finally cut the cloves into slices.

The inner part is the heart of the garlic. It’s usually greenish. It’s best to remove it because it’s not very digestible.

Here’s another suggestion. For those who like garlic but have a hard time digesting it. We recommend leaving the peeled cloves whole and removing them before serving.

spaghetti aglio e olio step 3

Step 3) – Then take the red chilies and cut them into thin slices.

If you don’t want too spicy a flavor, cut them lengthwise and remove the seeds. Then slice them finely.

Traditional aglio e olio recipe is made with fresh chilies, which are commonly available throughout Italy.

Since they are harder to find in some countries, dried chilies will do just fine.

spaghetti aglio e olio step 4

Step 4) – Heat 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add sliced garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.

Be careful that it doesn’t burn. Burnt garlic gives the dish a bitter taste that is very strong.

Add the chili pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes.

spaghetti aglio e olio step 5

Step 5) – Cook the pasta al dente. When ready, drain the pasta. Transfer to the frying pan with the garlic and red hot chili. Sauté over high heat to let flavor.

Serve pasta aglio e olio really hot with a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh parsley.

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Pasta aglio e olio is one of those dishes that you must eat as soon as it’s ready.. We don’t recommend refrigeration and freezing.

How Many Types of Garlic are there?

There are many varieties of garlic commonly grown in Italy. Some qualities are protected by protection consortia and Slow Food presidia such as white garlic from Polesano DOP, garlic from Vessalico or Aglio Rosso from Nubia.

White Garlic

White garlic is the most common, the best to keep fresh and the one with the most intense flavor and aroma.

Pink Garlic

Pink garlic is very delicate in aroma and flavor, difficult to keep fresh and consumed especially when it’s new.

Purple Garlic

Finally, purple garlic has a strong flavor that turns towards spicy.

How Much Chili Pepper do I Put in the aglio e olio Recipe?

There are hundreds of varieties of red hot chili peppers all over the world. The dosage and taste is really subjective.

In Italy the most used in recipes is the very spicy Calabrian red hot pepper.

The amount given in the recipe is to give the dish a flavor that is not too spicy. If you like a very spicy taste, you can always add more chili to taste.

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Aglio e Olio Recipe: Some Variants

There are many variations of this simple and classic recipe. Every region in southern Italy has its own version of spaghetti aglio e olio recipe. So let’s look at some local Italian variations of this great pasta dish!

With Cherry Tomatoes

In Puglia, they often add fresh cherry tomatoes to make the dish tastier.

With Bread Crumbs and Anchovy

In Calabria, they add breadcrumbs and anchovy fillets: the anchovies melt together with the garlic and chili pepper dressing. The bread crumbs are chopped and toasted in a pan. Then spaghetti is seasoned with all these ingredients.

Pasta alla Carrettiera

The Sicilian variant is called “pasta alla Carettiera” and involves the addition of toasted bread crumbs, dried tomatoes and capers.

Some add grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano before serving.

In short, there is no rule! You can add so many ingredients to this classic basic spaghetti aglio e olio, according to local uses, traditions and tastes.

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2 thoughts on “Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Recipe”

  1. Made this today! Quick and delicious meal with perfect amount of garlic flavour. Thank you for your informative and easy-to-follow recipes!


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