Monday, January 21, 2013

Garlic, Oil and Chili Linguini Fini

Sometimes the simple dishes with the fewest ingredients are the hardest to make. Take linguini fini cacio e pepe for example, proof that something amazing can be made simply from linguini fini, olive oil, butter, pecorino, salt, and pepper.

I first had spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino in Rome. In this simple and quick dish, garlic and chilis are infused in olive oil and then gently tossed with linguini fini or spaghetti. I like to add capers and lemon zest but the traditional version is all about the garlic and chilli.

You can top it with finely grated parmesan or pecorino but it is just as wonderful in its traditional form without the cheese.

Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino
1/2 lb spaghetti or linguini fini
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp capers, rinsed
1 dried red chilli, crushed
1/2 lemon juiced
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil

Bring water to a boil, add generous amount of salt, and cook pasta until just before al dente. Drain most of the water but leave some coating the pasta. The water will marry with the oil to create a sauce rather than just pasta covered in oil.

Meanwhile heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and red chili flakes, sauté for 3-4 minutes, do not let it brown. Add capers, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat, the garlic will continue to make the oil fragrant.

Transfer pasta with the reserved water to the oil (careful, it will splash). Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Sprinkle with sea salt. Stir to coat well. Distribute across plates.

Traditionally the dish is served without cheese, but you can serve it with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano.


  1. What is not to like in that dish. Yum.

  2. Simple yet delicious. I imagine that a dish like this relies on high quality ingredients. Thank you for sharing another delicious recipe and beautiful post. I hope you have a lovely Sunday full of relaxation and good food!

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