Pasta del Lunedì: Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino… (Oil, garlic, red chili flakes).. if you like it hot!

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Once again a fantastic simple pasta from Abruzzo (south of Italy), adopted by Roman cuisine, ultra simple, ultra tasteful and easy.
You do know me by now, I  really like great dishes, made with few quality ingredients. When it comes to the Italian pasta there are no mistakes, like in here, 4  only basic ingredients, can make a really delight on a plate.
If you like the fragrant taste of  roasted garlic and if you like it ‘hot’ this recipe is for you.The roasted garlic pieces are crunchy like a bread crumb but much more flavorful and the red chili pepper flakes bring an all different level of flavor.
You will think I am very enthusiastic but really simple ingredients combine here in a perfect small masterpiece of authentic Italian cuisine. Once you ‘ ‘master‘ the garlic cooking step in the right way, the all dish is 20 minutes to the table!!

Ingredients : Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 pound of excellent spaghetti brand (De Cecco, Garofalo, Elena’s)
  • 1/4 good quality olive oil
  • 4 to  5  large garlic cloves tiny chopped or minced
  • 1/2 of 1 teaspoon red crushed  dried chili flakes or 1 fresh red chili pepper chopped thin, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons grated  Pecorino romano (optional)
  • Finely Chopped persil to garnish (optional)

How to make it :

  • In a large pan, boil  a large amount of  salted water. Add spaghetti and cook till al dente, (following package directions).
  • Meanwhile in a large pan, (large enough to accomodate the pasta), heat olive oil, and over low heat add garlic, frying it slowly till golden not burned for a minute or two Check it often stirring if necessary once. While garlic cooks add red chili pepper, saute’ gently.
  • This step is very important, make sure your heat is on low, check the changing color of garlic frequently.
  • Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons of water to be used only if necessary.
  • Add pasta to the pan with garlic and red chili, saute’ for 1 minute ( add water if too dry). Remove from heat and rest 1 minute more,
  • Serve  warm with or without grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano, and parsley to garnish.

Did you know? Peperoncino is the Italian version of a red chili pepper and the ones growing in Southern Italy have a special hot flavor.The sun, the land make the difference. Adjust it  to your taste.

A big debate is still going on in some regions of Italy about cheese or no cheese. Purists say no cheese. I like it with a touch of cheese, Pecorino Romano, no doubt, as it adds some saltiness and a lot of flavor If you choose the ‘no cheese’ version, it is excellent anyway, just do not forget to add some salt before serving.
Buon Appetito a tutti!

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

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