Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a traditional Neapolitan dish become a symbol of the Italian cuisine, thanks to its simplicity and deliciousness! This recipe is a poor variation of the classic Linguine with clams and was the only option for who couldn’t afford to buy richer ingredients. Beyond its modest origin, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a temptation to try: easy to make and tasty!
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A MODEST DISH BECOME A CLASSIC ITALIAN
The Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe (also named Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino) appear for the first time on the Cookbook “Cucina Teorico Pratica” written by Guido Cavalcanti in 1837, under the name of “Uermiculi Aglio e uoglie”. The Cavalcanti’s recipe provided Vermicelli, a thickened version of Spaghetti, but Jeanne Caròla Francesconi, another legendary chef of the Neapolitan cuisine, suggested in 1965 the use of Linguine.
Most likely, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio was a modest variation of the classic Neapolitan Linguine with white clams: using almost the same ingredients besides seafood, the poor people reinvented this recipe!
Nowadays, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a classic Italian, possibly even more famous than its richer forefather!
SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO INTO THE ITALIAN CULTURE
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is one of the most popular pasta recipes in Italy. At the end of a pubbing night with friends, it is common that someone says “Andiamo da me a farci una Spaghettata!” (let’s go to my place to eat Spaghetti!) and thanks to its simplicity, convenience, and tastiness, this spaghetti recipe is almost always the first choice!
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is so popular in Italy that many Italian ignore the Neapolitan origin of this dish: they consider it just an Italian recipe!
TIPS AND VARIATIONS
Like many popular dishes, also the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe is subject of several discussion and variations. Here the biggest differences:
SPAGHETTI OR LINGUINE? – As I said above, they fit good both. The critical thing is to use long size pasta. Short size pasta is good as well, but not traditional.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS: FRESH OR DRIED? – Dried chili peppers are mostly used for convenience, especially organizing an unexpected night spaghetti party. But, I suggest you to try, even just once, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with fresh chili peppers!
PARSLEY: YES OR NOT? – The original recipe requires fresh parsley, but nowadays, for the same reason that pushes to use dried chili peppers, the variation of the recipe without parsley is popular as well as the original.
ANCHOVY VARIATION – Some people prefer to add preserved anchovies to recall the seafood taste: personally I like Spaghetti with anchovies, but it is totally another recipe.
SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO RECIPE
- • 14 oz (400 g) spaghetti or linguine
- • 6 to 8 cloves garlic
- • 2 to 4 fresh red hot chili peppers
- • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- • 8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- • 4.5 tbsp sea salt
- As I said above, the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe has several variations. Here, my preferred way to prepare this dish!
- GARLIC AND CHILI PEPPERS
First of all, peel the cloves ofgarlic and reduce them into chunks. Now, cut the fresh chili peppers into halves, discard the tips and the seeds, then reduce into dices. At this point, pour the extra virgin olive oil into a pan, then add the garlic and peppers and saute over medium heat until the garlic becomes pale golden.
- SPICY OIL
Now, pour the olive oil, and garlic, and peppers in a mortar, then pestle until smooth and consistent.
- COOKING AND SERVING SPAGHETTI
Bring to boil a 5 Qt pot full of water, then add the sea salt. Cook the pasta in the water, then raise it "al dente". Sautè the pasta in a pan along with the spicy oil. Finally, complete with minced parsley and serve immediately.
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