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Spaghetti With Garlic, Olive Oil, and Chili Flakes

Easiest Dinner Ever: Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

Translated: spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chili pepper flakes.

This is the kind of meal that makes you stop and think that the simplest foods are often the most wonderful. With only a few ingredients that are staples in most pantries, you can create a beautiful, flavorful, heartwarming meal from scratch.

Spaghetti aglio, olio, e peperoncino is a traditional Italian pasta dish. It's well loved by many because it's so easy and inexpensive to make. This is a perfect solution whenever you're in a bind. For example, if guests come over and you've got nothing to serve, they are certain to be wowed when you present them with this meal.

It packs quite a kick from the minced garlic and chili pepper flakes, and I highly suggest enjoying this dish with fellow garlic lovers.

The pasta is the real star in this meal, as it's not drenched in heavy, overbearing sauce. Because of this, it is really important to make sure you cook the pasta al dente. In some instances, you can get away with overcooking your spaghetti, but this is not one of them. A good, flavorful extra-virgin olive oil is also essential as is mincing the garlic finely enough to avoid eating any big spicy chunks.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

Spaghetti With Garlic, Olive Oil, and Chili Flakes Recipe


  1. 7 ounces spaghetti
  2. 2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes
  4. 1/4 to 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package, until it is al dente.
  2. Strain spaghetti and place in a large serving dish.
  3. Add minced garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix together well.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Camilla Salem
davvik davvik 2 years

It needs anchovies.

annamonette annamonette 3 years

Wow. I never would have thought steak and pasta!

Arthur Arthur 3 years

one of my favorites. really good with steak.

cbur0611 cbur0611 4 years
This was so delicious! My 1 year old annihilated 2 small plates of this! He never eats like that. It was just enough spice and flavor.. Even though I did cook the garlic and pepper flakes in the olive oil in a skillet for about 1 1/2 minutes on medium heat and then stirred it into my pasta. Then added parmesan/romano cheese and salt and pepper. So good! I will be making this weekly.
CoMMember13628561506335 CoMMember13628561506335 4 years
My mother makes this all the time. It's really good! Except she uses Penne pasta and adds halved cherry tomatoes. Amazing!
teslaforever teslaforever 4 years
I loved this, but like a couple of other people I found it a bit too spicy for me! However, it is so good that I plan on making it again with less chili pepper flakes. I don't want to replace them because the kick is nice, but for my cat's tongue I need a little less!
Kayla7829867 Kayla7829867 4 years
Thanks for the advice Ron3604868! I'm making this tonight for dinner!
Ron3604868 Ron3604868 4 years
An old Italian lady showed me this recipe 40 years ago - hers was a bit different. First heat the olive oil very low with the garlic in it never letting the garlic brown - just before putting it over the spaghetti turn up the heat & add the red pepper for a minute. She also cooked her spaghetti in chicken broth! Amazing Flavor!!
Lanilan79 Lanilan79 4 years
I bet adding Shallots with the garlic and sauteeing in olive oil would make this even yummier! Maybe even trying shaved parmasean too.
Liz3458117 Liz3458117 4 years
Wendi, I loved your comment...."So, basically, you made a completely different dish.  LOL"
Maisarah3413712 Maisarah3413712 4 years
Made this for dinner today.. Followed the instruction to the letter... Only thing was I added more chilli flakes as my household has tastebuds of the titans lol... Definitely a keeper on busy/lazy nights.. much thanks for sharing this ...
Christine3355756 Christine3355756 5 years
As the daughter in law of a large Italian family I have to add this IS a fabulous recipe with one possible exception.  Please note:  You MUST add salt to the water you are going to cook the pasta in.  Adding salt after the pasta cooks just doesn't work, and leaves the pasta, in any Italian pasta dish tasting flat.  After watching "the family" cook for years it appears, and I usually add, about 1 - 2 TLB of salt per 16 oz. pasta  in a large pot of boiling water (I'm guessing about 4-5 quarts).  Drain the pasta after cooking, but don't rinse.  If you are using pasta made with durham wheat, not egg noodles, the pasta doesn't stick together.     Add chili pepper flakes to taste.  My family makes this recipe with black pepper only, 1 and 1/2 tsp. which adds plenty of punch.  We then add some freshly grated parmesan or romanno while still hot in the pot, and then serve it with more at the table.
Olympia3255691 Olympia3255691 5 years
DO NOT put this amount of pepper flakes in.  It was to hot to even eat and I only used 1/2 teaspoon in mine.  Could not even take the garlic because my mouth was on fire.  I will try it again, but maybe only sprinkle a tiny bit of pepper in the whole pot.  
Gimmymore Gimmymore 5 years
The recipe is awesome, I've been doing this for a long time the only thing is I saute the garlic and the pepper flakes together in the olive oil to bring out a stronger flavor and I use a lessor amount of pepper flakes because I'm a wimp on really hot stuff. Thanks for posting this!
Wendi3088734 Wendi3088734 5 years
 @Josie2395742 I like to buy mine in bulk from Costco.  They serve double duty when ours or the neighbors dogs decide to dig beneath the fence.  
Wendi3088734 Wendi3088734 5 years
 @Kristy3075771 So, basically, you made a completely different dish.  LOL
Kristy3075771 Kristy3075771 5 years
This was really awesome!!!  I sauteed the garlic with a little red onion since I didn't have any bell pepper.  I cooked some thin strips of boneless skinless chicken breast in cooking spray.  Heated broccoli florets in the microwave.  Once the pasta was done I threw it all in the bowl added sun dried tomatoes and a few capers and wah lah!!!  Magnificent!!!  This will definitely makes its way to the dinner table again...  Thanks!!!
Ann3057978 Ann3057978 5 years
I definitely second the contributor who suggested sauteeing the garlic and peppers.  At the least, I would sautee the garlic.  I suspect that Jenny would have a much better result if she were to do so.  I don't think I've ever used garlic without sauteeing it a bit first, and I use minced garlic in almost everything I cook.  The one time I didn't sautee was disastrous. I've made this dish a couple of times in the past and loved it.  I once roasted leftover fresh asparagus and red peppers and added them to the basic recipe; it was divine.   All in all, a great dish made with ingredients you have on hand!
Travelista73 Travelista73 5 years
This is one of my favourite pastas. It's so easy to make and delicious! Ready in the time it take to cook the pasta.
jean95404 jean95404 5 years
Love, love, love this recipe.  It's a real favorite of our family.  FAST, easy and flavorable.  What more could you ask.  A restaurant in our town, Cafe Citti, has this on their menu and I have it everytime I go there.  You can choose the pasta that you want in the recipe.  I usually get rotini.  They also put pancetta in the recipe.  So, when I make it at home I pop into a skillet finely dices pancetta, crushed garlic, 1/2 teas. crushed red pepper flakes (with a small dish on the table for those that like more heat).  You do all of this just as your pasta is coming to its' "done stage".    Strain the pasta, add the panchetta/garlic/pepper flakes, toss with olive oil and parmesan or romano. Salt and pepper to taste.   This is even better the next day (if you are lucky enough to have some left!)
Camilla-Salem Camilla-Salem 5 years
 @Jenny2409904 Sorry to hear that! Definitely try adjusting the red pepper according to your tastebuds. Personally, I eat a lot of spicy food so I could have used even more when I made it! Also, I think different chili flakes have different levels of spiciness to them! Good luck!
Jenny2409904 Jenny2409904 5 years
I made this for dinner tonight and it was completely inedible. My husband and I like spicy food, but this was so hot that we couldn't eat more than a couple bites. I even double checked my measurements and I know I didn't have too much red pepper. I might consider trying it again with half (or less) the red pepper.
Camilla-Salem Camilla-Salem 5 years
 @Josie2395742 you can definitely order them on amazon, otherwise try looking for crushed red pepper, or red pepper flakes. Sometimes they are sold under different names. Good luck!
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