Main course Recipes

Midnight spicy pasta for hungry friends | Aglio, olio e peperoncino

Something in between tradition and urban legend tells that if you have friends coming over in the evening, it gets close to midnight, and they start to have that dreadful hungry look in their eyes (and you don’t want hungry friends in the house, do you? It’s dangerous! 😉) … Well, you are supposed to offer an ‘Aglio, olio e peperoncino’ pasta, often spaghetti.

The basic recipe involves of course garlic, olive oil, and chili pepper. Three simple ingredients we all have in our homes. This will allow you to satisfy your hungry friends in a jiffy, while ‘saving you’, and even crowning you the hero of the night! But there are many ways to do it. I’m proposing you to lift it up a bit. Read along, and take a look at what you’ll need.


Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 320 g of whole grain pasta, if you are a celiac choose a gluten-free alternative. I’m using whole grain maccheroncini.
  • 8 cherry tomatoes or one large tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp of capers, roughly chopped
  • a handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped + few leaves for decoration
  • 1 clove of garlic, in halves without the green germ
  • 1 red chili pepper, only the outer skin
  • 4 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


For the pescatarian version, you can add:

  • 3 anchovies, minced



Add the olive oil to a pan and caramelize the garlic on a low heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, and season. Let the tomatoes soften, then remove the garlic and the chili pepper outer skin.

Meanwhile prepare the pasta, boiling it in salted water, deducting 2 minutes from your package instructions, to keep it ‘al dente’, taste to check if it’s cooked properly, and drain.

Add the pasta to the pan and stir for a few seconds. Decorate with fresh basil leaves, and serve.


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