Spaghetti With Aglio & Peperoncino Recipe

A quick dinner idea from cookbook author Laura Calder. "I love this dish to the point that I could eat it almost every day. With the freshness of parsley (a Roman addition, I'm told), depth of garlic, and addictive heat of chili peppers all in my mouth at the same time, I can barely contain my excitement. I have an Italian friend, Annunciata, who crushes the cooked garlic with a fork in the pan and keeps cooking it until golden, before removing it. No grated Parmesan required or even desirable here, or so my friend Mooney informs me, he who blasphemously sneaks lemon zest into his."


1 lb. spaghetti
6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
6 tbsp olive oil
1 peperoncino, crushed (or 1/2-1 tsp chili pepper flakes, to taste)
2 large handfuls of chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper


Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it and add the pasta, which will take about 10 minutes to cook.

Step 2: While the pasta cooks, in a small pan gently heat the garlic cloves in the olive oil until the garlic is yellow, about 3 minutes. Add the peperoncino, and keep on low heat until the pasta is done. Remove the garlic halves.

Step 3: When the pasta is ready, drain it, return it to the pot, and toss with the peperoncino, oil and parsley. Grind on some black pepper and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Laura Calder’s Dinner Chez Moi (2011 Harper Collins Canada).


James Ingram; food and props styling by Patti Hetherington