Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino Fresco

This is one of the simplest, most delicious pasta recipes that serves great as a quick “midnight” supper. PastaSpaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and fresh hot pepper cries Italian at the same level of traditionality as pizza margherita and pasta pomodoro. Its flavors burst with garlic and hot pepper. The steaming plate of pasta takes you back to a memory of clay roof tiles and Roman walkways lined with markets of foods and festivities you never knew you had. That’s deep. 

Of course, the Ben Gusto version is the best, and has taken years to perfect. I have switched things up from a traditional combination of dried pepper, garlic, and panko bread crumbs. Fresh pepper adds a whole new dimension to the dish, and homemade bread crumbs introduces a boost of flair. Truly a masterpiece of a pasta. And best of all: it’s soo easy!

Toasted breadcrumbs made with homemade white bread.

Toasted breadcrumbs made with homemade white bread.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino Fresco 

  • 250 g Dry Spaghetti
  • Olive Oil (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 mild Green Chile Pepper
  • 1/3 hot Fresno Pepper (red)
  • Fresh, Fluffy White Bread
  • Salt
  • Parsley 
  • Parmesan

Finely chop a small bunch of parsley and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (about 1 tbsp. of fine salt is necessary to bring out full flavor ).

Water Boil

Chop the peppers very fine and set aside.

Hot Pepper

Fill a large pan with olive oil enough to cover the surface, plus a little more (about 1/3 cup total). Throw in the garlic cloves and heat over low-medium heat until the garlic is softened (about 3 minutes). Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Add the peppers and heat another minute or so, and then turn off the stove.

Stove on

Stove on

Oil done cooking.

Oil done cooking.


Cook the pasta according to the package’s instructions.

Pasta Foamed

While the pasta cooks, grind the bread into fine pieces in a blender fitted with a steel blade, or by hand.

Use a fluffy, white bread.

Use a fluffy, white bread.

Toast the bread on a small saucepan over medium heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the oil to the bread to help it crisp. Toast for about 4 minutes, stirring to keep from burning.

Homemade Toasted Breadcrumbs

Once the pasta is nice and aldente, add it to the oil and stir in the bread crumbs. Stir in the parsley.

Pasta Added

Garnish each dish with a sprinkle of parmesan. Don’t add too much parmesan, or else the pasta will become too dry. Traditionally, parmesan is not added to this pasta, but I think it is the cherry on top of the cake.

Spaghetti with Olio, Aglio, Peperoncino

Buon Appetito!

2 responses on “Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino Fresco

  1. Hello Ben –

    I have been enjoying a couple of your recent entries – the pasta, aglia, olio and peppers and the chicken, grape tomato, etc. Quick and easy and great taste. Janice and I were delighted to see you again after so many years and are mightily impressed. Thanks for stopping by. Best of luck on your new business venture.


    • Thanks, Gorman! I really appreciate the support you and Janice are always giving me and BenGusto. It’s what keeps me going. It was great to see you both again, and I hope to sit down and have a meal with you next time!

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