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Finished Spaghetti aglio olio peperoncino on blue platter.

Extra Garlicky Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino

Extra Garlicky Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino (Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Chili Pepper) is the perfect anytime pasta recipe. With only a handful of main ingredients, this dish is big on flavor but small of complexity and expense. And, this unique, “extra garlicky” version is sure to please.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish, Pasta, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound spaghetti (or your favorite long pasta) + salt for pasta water
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more to make garlic confit if needed (See Instructions below.)
  • 10-12 garlic cloves, thinly-sliced or finely chopped (about ⅓ cup or so)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you would like)
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), about 1 bunch, divided
  • ½ cup Garlic Confit cloves smashed with a fork
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter at room temperature (optional)
  • To taste salt
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving (optional)


  • Prepare the Garlic Confit and Garlic Oil if you do not have any on hand, as follows (or follow the recipe here to make a larger batch): Place ½ cup whole garlic cloves in a small saucepan and pour in enough olive oil to completely cover them. Heat mixture over medium heat. Bring oil to the lightest simmer, then reduce heat to as low as possible. Continue to cook mixture over very low heat until garlic is very tender, but not falling apart. It should be only lightly browned. To test the garlic, pierce one clove with the tip of a sharp knife—it should meet with little to no resistance and be easily smashable. This could take about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. (You will likely have more oil than is needed for this recipe. Reserve additional for other use.)
  • Prep and gather all remaining ingredients according to specifications above. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. (See NOTES below regarding timing.)
    (Please see the section above in the blog post for Step-By-Step instructions with photos.)
  • When the water comes to a boil, add salt, then the pasta, to the boiling water, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions, or about 2 minutes before you think it is al dente. Be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
    1 pound spaghetti
  • Start sautéing the raw garlic at the same time that you add the pasta to the boiling water: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, raw garlic and crushed red pepper and slowly sauté together until the garlic begins to turn a light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will turn bitter.
    4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 10-12 garlic cloves,, ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Stir in half the parsley (¼ cup) and the smashed garlic confit cloves just to heat through.
    ½ cup Garlic Confit cloves
  • Add about ¾ cup pasta water to the garlic mixture, creating a sauce. Let it simmer lightly until the pasta is ready.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta to the garlic/parsley mixture, increase the heat to medium and toss well to help emulsify and thicken the sauce. Allow the pasta to finish cooking in the wonderful flavors of the sauce. Add more pasta water for additional moisture if needed.
  • Once the pasta is al dente, remove the pan from the heat. Then gently stir in the garlic oil, remaining ¼ cup parsley and butter, if including, until well-combined. Season with salt to taste.
    2 Tbsp Garlic Oil, 2 Tbsp butter, To taste salt
  • Transfer to a platter and serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional). Buon Appetito!
    Grated Pecorino Romano cheese,


  • Suggestion: Make a full batch of Garlic Confit and Garlic Oil and store what is not needed in this recipe in the refrigerator, covered, to use within 2 to 3 weeks. It has so many great uses in the kitchen! Read more about this wonderful ingredient here.
  • A note regarding timing: Once the garlic confit is made, this is a very quick dish to make and it comes together very quickly. So, a good rule of thumb is to start sautéing the raw garlic at the same time that you add the pasta to the boiling water.
  • Use a large pot with 5 to 6 quarts water for 1 pound of pasta. Bring the water to a boil before adding the salt. Use 1½-2 Tbsp salt.
  • The pasta water is key! Add it to the sauce for the additional moisture needed to finish cooking the pasta or to revive dried out pasta that has been sitting a bit before serving.
  • This recipe works well with all sorts of short and long shapes of pasta. Some of my other favorites to use in this recipe are linguine, bucatini, ziti and penne rigate.
  • The butter is “mounted” on the finished pasta at the end for additional richness and silkiness. This is optional and can be skipped if you prefer to keep the dish dairy-free.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
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