This has to be my favorite and loveliest pasta in the whole world. What could be better than spaghetti with some spice, garlic, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! Add some fresh lemon zest and juice and you have a perfect combination. I had not planned for this post and is a very spontaneous one. I had to share the love and goodness of this pasta..especially if you love spicy or have Indian taste buds like me. 

Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino which means spaghetti with garlic, oil and chill in Italian is a traditional Italian pasta dish. Fresh garlic, good olive oil and great parmesan are key for great flavors. Because we are working with minimum ingredients, the quality of the ingredients will make a huge difference. Traditionally, cheese is not added but both parmesan and pecorino work well.
While I like to indulge in tomato-based pasta with some fried aubergines and ricotta cheese, I also like the simplicity of this pasta. A recipe with minimum ingredients is always welcome and when it leaves you asking for more after finishing a full bowl of pasta, it is definitely a keeper. I have a friend who has to order Spaghetti Aglio e Olio everytime she goes to an Italian restaurant. Once you are in love with its simplicity, you could easily forget the heavy cream based pastas!
Authentic Aglio e Olio is plain. However, you could add other ingredients like seafood, mushrooms or meat to the basic Aglio e Olio to make a more complete meal. I have added greens and some lemon zest and juice to give the pasta a more refreshing taste. You could add your variation to this stunning simple recipe.

Shopping List
Serves 2
 
150g spaghetti
6-7 garlic cloves, minced
3 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Generous amount of Extra-virgin olive oil
Handful of baby spinach or any greens of your choice, rinsed
Zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon
Sea Salt
Freshly grated parmesan
 
1. Bring a pot of water with 1 tbsp sea salt to a boil. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, until al dente. Try not to overcook the pasta. Normally, it takes 8 min for the pasta to be al dente. Drain and set aside the pasta, reserving a small cup of pasta water.
 
2. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, add garlic and chilli. Saute the garlic until it turns light golden brown. Turn off the stove. The garlic will continue cooking in the hot oil on its own for a few more seconds in the hot oil, until they turn a lovely golden brown. Add the greens and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until the greens have wilted a little. Grate over the lemon zest.
 
3. Add cooked pasta, 1-2 tbsp reserve pasta water. Add the lemon juice and stir to coat. Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan to finish. Sprinkle some dried chilli flakes if you really like it hot!

Happy Days!!

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