Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Spaghetti aglio e olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish commonly seen in Neapolitan cuisine. Since the recipe has been brought over to North America, the fresh peperoncini picante ingredient has been replaced with crushed red pepper (the stuff available at every grocery store) because peperoncini isn’t as accessible here as it is in Italy. If you’re going to make an authentic Italian dish, you should try your darn hardest to make it properly- lucky for us, Terroni has made it easy to bring home their imported peppers from Puglia. The perfect addition to this scrumptious dish!
There are a few tips that go into making spaghetti aglio e olio fantastico. Many people will argue its all in the garlic- cooking at too high a temperature for not long enough, ending up with burnt garlic or the flavors not infusing. The trick is to sauté on very low heat and then turn off the heat just when the garlic begins to brown.
Another tip to make this dish extra special is adding freshly toasted breadcrumbs, or what’s also known in Italy as “poor man's parmesan.” This addition is a centuries-old technique that was used in less wealthy Italian communities where aged cheeses like parmigiano reggiano were too expensive a commodity for everyday use, so instead they came up with a quick and easy way to make a crispy/crunchy topping for pasta out of breadcrumbs.
...and just like that, you’ve got your own piece of Italy on your kitchen table. Like most pasta dishes, it’s best topped off with some freshly grated cheese. You can use parmesan, but grana padano has a softer and subtler taste to it, making sure not to overpower the deliciousness that is spaghetti aglio e olio.
- ¼ cup of fresh Teroni Peperoncini Picante
- ⅔ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¾ pound linguine or spaghetti
- Freshly toasted breadcrumbs (optional)
- Grated grana padano (optional)
- Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, nearly but not quite done and still a bit chalky in the middle. Drain, and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Put the oil, garlic and peperoncini in a large deep pan, sauté on very low heat. Turn off the heat just when the garlic begins to brown, adding in the parsley. It will continue browning in the hot oil.
- When the oil has cooled for a couple of minutes, add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, and reduce over high heat by about half. Add the pasta, and continually stir as it continues to cook. Add the reserved pasta water a bit at a time as necessary to finish cooking the pasta, and develop the thickened sauce.
- Season with salt & pepper, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and grated grana padano.
- And that's it! Serves approximately 4 – buon appetito!