Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spaghetti with Garlic,Olive Oil &Red Chilly

Spaghetti all'aglio,olio e peperoncino is a classic pasta dish.It is actually a rustic pasta dish and was originated in the poverty stricken regions of Abruzzo in Italy.It started as a simple way of dressing cooked pasta in olive oil and garlic and peperoncino (chilli peppers (dried /fresh/crumbled) were added later and the pasta with these three ingredients became classic. The recipe which I adapted from here and also used the video here takes just minutes to prepare.

Spaghetti: 2-3 handfuls (almost 1/2 a box)

Olive Oil: 1/4 cup +
Garlic: 2-3 big cloves
Red Chillies (chilli flakes can also be used) : 3+ as per taste


Garnish (optional)
Parmesan /Grana Padano Cheese
Black olives

Cook spaghetti till al dente.

Meanwhile ,heat olive oil in a pan and add peeled and optionally chopped garlic into it.Add chilli flakes or chopped/crumbled red chillies and let it cook (fry) till it starts to brown.Your Aglio e olio (garlic and oil) sauce with peperoncino is ready. Optionally you can add chopped tomatoes into the oil or anchovies for the non veg version.Or if you go for Milanese style of this pasta then bread crumbs are also added to the sauce along with garlic and red chillies.I just went with the plain old recipe and used garlic and redchillies only.

Mix the sauce with the drained spaghetti,add pepper and optionally cheese,black olives and finely chopped cilantro.Serve in bowls.I mixed cilantro with the pasta and the rest was as per taste. Two people can have a hearty meal with this much quantity of pasta.

Peperoncino translates into paprika or cayenne pepper but traditionally the red chillies cultivated and then sun dried (or plainly speaking dried red chillies) in Abruzzo are used and this dish is a signature dish of Abruzzo that differentiates it from the other food bowls in Italy.There these chillies are also known as diavolino (little devil -may because of the heat they give).

Red chillies are usually part of Indian cuisine or day to day use for me.But I wanted to see whether they were as important in anyother cuisine and the first one I searched was in Italian cuisine as I knew chili flakes is a staple ingredient there.This pasta dish which was quite easy came as a surprise.

Interestingly the pasta has full blown olive oil taste with the cruncy red chillies adding a zing to it.It was nice to bite into the fried bits of garlic and red chillies.Make sure you add 1 or 2 more chillies than required as frying in olive oil reduce the heat.

The spicy spaghetti is on way to fire up the Think Spice :Red Chillies an event by Sunita and currently hosted by Lakshmi.


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