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Spaghetti with parsley and chili peppers in a black bowl with a gold fork.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Veronika | thehealthfulideas
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino is spicy, garlicky, and cheesy. It's easy to make and really simple. The perfect quick dinner!


Units Scale
  • pinch sea salt
  • 250g dry spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 red chili pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped (add more or less based on your heat preference)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 finely chopped fresh parsley (I used flat leaf, plus more for garnish if desired)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (plus more for serving)


  1. Start by cooking the pasta. It will cook while you prepare the rest. 
  2. Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil and add the spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions (regular wheat spaghetti will take 11-13 minutes).
  3. While that’s cooking, heat a large pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add about half of the olive oil, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes or chopped chili pepper.
  5. Lower the heat to medium to make sure the olive oil doesn’t burn and cook for 2 minutes stirring often. Once the garlic starts to caramelize slightly, add the rest of the oil, ½ tsp sea salt, and parsley. Cook for another 30 seconds or so and take off the heat.
  6. Before straining your pasta, make sure to save 1 cup of the pasta water.
  7. Strain and rinse the pasta and add it into the pan with the garlic.
  8. Set it over low-medium heat and toss the pasta with the garlic and oil. Add a splash of the pasta water to help coat the pasta.
  9. Sprinkle in the chopped fresh parsley and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese. Toss gently. 
  10. Add more pasta water as needed, I usually add at least ½ cup. It makes it more sauce-y.
  11. Serve immediately garnished with more parsley, cheese, chili flakes, and a sprinkle of black pepper if desired.


Storing: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Pasta doesn’t tend to store well and I find if it’s gluten-free, it always falls apart when reheating. If it’s regular spaghetti, it does fairly well when being reheated in a pan or saucepan with a good splash of water and more parmesan.