Thursday, 16 February 2012

Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (Per Uno)

Quick and easy Italian comfort food at it's best.



It's extremely rare that I end out cooking an evening meal just for myself. Tonight, as it happens has been one of those nights. It's half term week and my family are off staying with relatives or away for work, and there I was, working away and wondering what to eat. For a house that's usually full of people it's a strange place when it's just me. I cook most evenings for all of us, but tonight I needed something quick and something that would fill the void created by an empty house. The last time this happened to me was three and a half years ago (!), and what did I cook? Aglio, olio e peperoncino.

I don't know of anything simpler that packs as much punch as this delightful dish. Ordinary dried spaghetti, good olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, chilli, butter and parmesan. Intensely aromatic, seriously 'peppery' and immensely satisfying.

I checked out the fridge and the pantry before walking to the the shop to pick up the last bits and pieces. Basil: check, garlic: check, chilli: oh yes, still plenty of my chilli bounty in the freezer -  but olive oil, parmesan and spaghetti? No.

Nice and frosty, straight from the freezer


This meal takes as long is it takes to boil spaghetti. Like ten minutes in total if you are organised. I do it like this:

Boil 1.5 litres of water in a kettle and transfer to a large pot with a good dash of salt. Add 100g of spaghetti to the boiling water. Roughly chop 4-5 cloves of garlic and as many chillies as you can handle. Finely grate a decent chunk of parmesan cheese (2-3 tablespoons works for me) and roughly break up a handful of basil leaves.

In a large frying pan, heat up 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and toss in the garlic and chilli. Turn off the heat immediately as you do not want the garlic to brown, you just want it to infuse the hot oil.



When the spaghetti is cooked (it takes only 8 minutes or so), remove it from the water with tongs and toss it into the hot oil. Put the heat back on gently while you stir the garlic, chilli and oil through the spaghetti. Add a dollop of butter, half the parmesan and half the basil, give it a good toss and plate it up. Once on the plate add the rest of the basil and parmesan, crack open a super chilled bottle of white wine and go for it. You won't regret it. I promise.


Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

19 comments:

Christine's Pantry said...

I know what you mean about being home alone. Looks like you cooked a great meal.

Andrea said...

I LOVE Pecorino. this may be a little too spicy for me but it looks so delish. I would love to get my hands on Nona's sauce. Thanks for following me. I am now following you.

Mrs P said...

My usual home alone dish is carbonara, but will have to give this a try next time, looks and sounds lovely.

Never knew you could freeze chillies either!

the food dude said...

Man, this is way cooler than my usual home alone canned tuna meal! Great pasta dish!

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

What a fabulous dish. This is the sort of meal I tend to go for when eating alone. Gorgeous photos Anthony!

All That I'm Eating said...

Perfect, such a classic, so filling and perfect for one!

Marina said...

One can never get tiered of pasta with a good cheese and a perfect flavor combination of garlic, peppers, basil... Those frozen peppers look beautiful.

Eftychia said...

Quick, easy and delicious!!

Jay said...

very nicely done..appetizing..:)
Tasty Appetite

easyfoodsmith said...

Yum! This is my kind of comfort food. Loved the pics of food in the pan.

Helene Dsouza said...

That looks quick and simple enough. I never cooked aglio, olio e peperoncino. I usualy end up making comlex pasta sauces. sometimes simplicity is the solution for special dishes.

thx for sharing and enjoy your weekend! =)

Grubarazzi said...

Ohhhhh yeahhhhhh. My kind of home alone meal.

Gria Loka said...

OK, I super agree with you to cook less than 10 minutes meal. I like the idea. The pasta looks really good. I had pasta last week with tomato sauce,tomato paste, ground beef, and sausage...takes forever. but yours is super quick!

Only Fish Recipes said...

first time in your space n i absolutely loved it !I love ittalian food...n this meal with spagetti looks absolutely delicious....thanks for sharing.....I'm ur new follower now !if u like seafood recipes, I hav a blog only on fish recipes.....do visit my space in ur free time :-)

Lola Lobato said...

Fantastic! I love pasta, looks so good!

James Brewer said...

I love really quick pasta dishes, especially when I come home from work and its a night when I am just cooking for myself.

Shaheen said...

MMM this is one of my favourite pasta dishes and yeph comforting too.

Anonymous said...

what kind of chili can I used if i cant find peperoncino?
Would the japanese chili pepper or the mexican chili pepper be a better option? thanks

firefoodie said...

Peperoncino is just the Italian word for chilli. use anything and enjoy.

Related Posts with Thumbnails