Simple Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Sometimes I find that I want to eat something delicious, but don’t have the desire or voglia to cook. This is where this dish comes in! I almost always have garlic, olive oil and chilli flakes in the house and if I don’t have spaghetti, I use whatever pasta I have (but I try to use spaghetti as often as I can). The breadcrumbs are an optional extra when I’m feeling it, and I usually have my Nonna’s homemade breadcrumbs in the pantry which come in handy with this dish.

The reason this dish is so quick, is that everything happens whilst the pasta is cooking. I recommend cutting the cook time by 2 minutes (so around 7-8 minutes) as you will let the pasta cook for the final 2 minutes with the “sauce”. This is the best way for it to soak in all the garlicky goodness. Make sure you don’t drain the pasta water!! This will be used to make the sauce silky smooth and avoid a dry pasta dish.

If you’re not a huge spice fan, or you’re making these for kids, then you can also leave this out and let people add their own chilli flakes once you serve. Alternatively, if you have a chilli oil, put this on the table and let the spice lovers pour away on their plates! I do, however, recommend using chilli flakes rather than fresh chilli in the sauce. By frying the dried chilli flakes in the oil with the garlic, they will release their full flavour, whereas fresh chilli (especially with the seeds removed) will give you a milder flavour.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino

Serves: 3

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


30g Breadcrumbs

1/4 Tsp Garlic powder

400g Spaghetti

4 Tbsp Olive oil

3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

2-3 Tsp Chilli flakes

Extra virgin olive oil

Fresh parsley, rinsed and roughly chopped



To serve: Parmesan, chilli oil


  1. In a small frying pan, add the breadcrumbs, garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Gently toast until golden and set aside. Meanwhile, boil your pasta water in a large saucepan. Once boiling add a good amount of salt and throw in your spaghetti. Set your timer for 8 minutes.

  2. Place a large frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, your garlic and chilli flakes, sauté for a couple minutes on medium-low - don’t let the garlic burn.

  3. Once your pasta is al dente, use tongs to transfer directly from the saucepan to the frying pan and reserve some of the pasta water. Toss with the garlic and chilli and drizzle in a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. Add a ladle of pasta water to create a creamy-like sauce, sprinkle in the parsley and a little pepper and serve immediately with parmesan and extra chilli oil if desired.


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© 2021 by The Rosemary Thymes. Cooked with a pinch of love from Italy & the UK 🇬🇧🇮🇹