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Spaghetti Aglio e Peperoncino | Roman Holiday Zest |

Spaghetti Aglio e Peperoncino

One late afternoon while wandering around Rome looking at churches we stumbled onto a wonderful little restaurant.  Deep in the winding briar patch that is Roman streets, we found the simple staple pasta that is Spaghetti Aglio e Peperoncino, Spaghetti with garlic and hot pepper.  My wife loved it instantly.  I know when my lovely wife loves a dish, because she has me try it, and asks if I can make it.

Like so many real Italian dishes it is impossibly simple.  From my experience, a great Italian dish is made up of six ingredients or less.  That includes seasoning, so we are talking 4 ingredients.  This is really hard to do when you first dive into this style.  Obviously, dishes contain more, and much of what the rest of the world calls “Italian” is an adaptation of the traditional. Especially in America where we have evolved an entire restaurant cultural that is essentially based on Italian.

This recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Peperoncino is not the Italian American version, it’s from the streets of Rome.

Spaghetti Aglio e Peperoncino

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By Rick Britt Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

This recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Peperoncino is not the Italian American version, it’s from the streets of Rome.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms spaghetti (ideally fresh)
  • 3 Garlic cloves gently crushed
  • Pinch Red pepper flakes (pepperoncino)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • Good olive oil

Instructions

1

Bring pasta water to boil, it should be well salted, almost the level of sea water.

2

In a saucepan make a simple sofrito. Two good glugs of olive oil, over medium heat, when it is beginning to gather a sheen put the garlic in and allow the oil to infuse. Do not brown, turning garlic often, as the aroma is released add red pepper flakes to taste, a few to a small handful, but a little goes a long way. More you add the more you will get the heat. Turn heat to medium low and remove the garlic.

3

Put pasta in the water to boil, in 3 minutes or so when very al dente (a tiny bit hard in the center and under cooked) using a spork or tongs remove into sauté pan with the oil and red pepper.

4

Turn the sauté pan up to medium and add a ladle full of the pasta water mix well. Grind in several turns of fresh black pepper. Stir and let the water reduce off making a slippery sauce coating the pasta.

5

Adjust seasoning if needed

6

Serve on a large plate in a pile. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

7

Adding a little chopped parsley, or parmesan would not be amiss

Wine Matching

Well, it has to be a Pinot Grigio, doesn’t it? When in Rome do as the Romans do! We chose a Vivolo Pinot Grigio 2017. Taste this crisp and refreshing drop alongside a bland, mass-produced Italian Pinot Grigio and it seems like a different grape entirely. Fantastic with food, but utterly gorgeous all on its lonesome. Available from Naked Wines. 

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