Aglio E Oglio 3 1

A plate of spaghetti aglio e oglio (garlic and olive oil)

This is the simplest recipe for a great pasta, and we Romans often have this pasta as a midnight snack after coming home from dancing.  It’s also known as “pasta del cornuto,” because traditionally it was the wife who would cook the pasta for the husband who was working many hours to prepare delicious dishes. But if the wife had an affair and thus had no time to cook before the husband came home, she could rush home to cook and prepare something in five minutes.  So, when you are in a hurry, this is the pasta to prepare.

The most basic version of the recipe involves only a few ingredients: spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, and fresh chopped parsley.  A variation on the recipe includes adding anchovies and a few pear tomatoes into the mix.

Ingredients for 4 people

Ingredients for spaghetti aglio e oglio

Ingredients for spaghetti aglio e oglio

  • 250 grams of spaghetti
  • 1 cup olive oil of the best quality
  • 2 smashed cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 Calabrian, or 2 Hawaiian or Thai peppers, minced
  • For my variation on the recipe:
    • 16 filets of anchovies, minced
    • 12 “pear” or cherry tomatoes, yellow and red,  cut in half

How to Prepare this Recipe

  1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, add the spaghetti. You will cook it for about 1-2 minutes less than the cook time for the pasta you’ve selected.
  2. When you are waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil before adding the pasta, start the recipe for the aglio e olio. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic cloves. Turn the heat to low. As soon as the garlic is golden, remove it with a fork or a slotted spoon.
  3. Bring the heat to high and add the minced Calabrian/Thai peppers, parsley, and optional minced anchovies.
    1. If you are also using the pear tomatoes, wait for a minute for the rest of the ingredients to meld, and then turn the heat to medium and add the pear tomatoes.
    2. Cook on medium until the pear tomatoes become soft, about 4 minutes.
  4. In the meantime cook the pasta until about 2 minutes before the recommended cooking time. Drain the pasta and then pour the pasta back into the same pot (which should still be hot), and then put back on the stove on a low-to-medium heat.  Add the aglio e oglio sauce and mix well with the spaghetti, allowing it to cook another minute.
  5. Just before serving, add about 3 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley, and plate the pasta.
  6. Please do not add anything else – especially no cheese.
  7. Buon appetito!

Italiano: Spaghetti aglio e olio

Ingredienti per 2 – 4 persone, dipende 

  • 250 grammi di spaghetti
  • 1 tazza di olio d’oliva della migliore qualità
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati
  • ½ tazza di prezzemolo tritato
  • 1 pepperonco calabrese o 2 pepperoncini Hawaiano o tailandese, tritato
  • Per la mia variazione sulla ricetta:
    • 16 filetti di acciughe tritate
    • 12 “pera” o pomodorini, gialli e rossi, tagliati a metà


  1. Soffriggere nell’olio 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati, rimuoverli appena prendono colore aggiungere pepperoncino (peperoncino) piccante, 1 o 2 peperoncini calabresi a pezzetti o quello che avete, un ungo (pugno) di prezzemolo tritato e i filetti di otto alici.
  2. Dopo un minute (minuto) aggiungere 12 pomodorini piccolo (piccoli), quelli a pera, oppure 8 San Marzano, tagliati a metà.
  3. Abbassare il fuoco a medio, appena diventano soffici, circa 4 minuti spegnere il fuoco.
  4. Quando la pasta è pronta mischiare bene in padella, poi per bellezza spolverare con prezzemolo triato (tritato)fresco e servire.
  5. Buon appetito!