Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino (Garlic, oil and hot red pepper pasta) 

Aglio e olio, just like its cacio e pepe counterpart, used to be called “la pasta dei cornuti” (a dish for the cuckolded) because if a young wife was busy doing something else while her husband was at work and had little time to make the evening meal, she would make either of these two fast, tasty dishes. They provided a speedy solution, pleasing her husbands who came home to dinner on the table, and leaving her to lovingly stroke his brow.

Ingredients (serves 6) 

600 g (11⁄4 pounds) spaghetti (Martelli if possible)

2 Nubia red garlic cloves

3 chilli peppers

Extra virgin olive oil 

Chopped parsley Salt to taste 


is is a simple but tricky recipe as you have to be ready and on the ball as regards the cooking times. 

Put the pasta on to cook in well-salted, boiling water. While it’s cooking, roughly chop a garlic clove and three chilli peppers and fry in a small pan with extra virgin olive oil. 

When the garlic cloves starts to change colour, take the pan off the flame right away. e pasta should also be ready around the same time. Drain while it’s still al dente, transfer it to a serving bowl and empty the contents of the frying pan over the top. Toss together then separate into individual bowls. Sea- son with salt and sprinkle with parsley. 

Useful tip: some people add a sprinkling of Pecorino and others some grated breadcrumbs. I like both.