Food & Drink

BackToTheRoots: Spaghetti aglio, olio & peperoncino (video)

This is the first recipe of a series called BackToTheRoots: a collection of earthy, easy, quick and really satisfying meals that have always been a staple in my family and that, schock horror! also happen to be plant based.
This very first instalment is for all the people out there who love spicy food. I got you covered! These spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino are literally made out of simple spaghetti together with garlic, olive oil and chilli pepper flakes.

As you will see from the video and the preparation, I also added bread crumbs and parsley. These are nice additions my family decided to introduce in this plate and, I must admit, I love them! The bread crumbs add a whole new texture to the dish and the parsley adds a nice fresh contrast to the spiciness of the chilli.
This is seriously the kind of meal that makes you stop and think that the simplest foods are often the most wonderful. Especially because with only a few ingredients that are always available in most pantries, you can create an astonishingly full-flavoured, heartwarming meal from scratch.

Ingredients for 4 people: 

  • 240 grams of spaghetti
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 red hot peppers (you can adjust the amount to your own taste)
  • 8 tablespoons of bread crumbs
  • Fresh parsley to taste (I use 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt so that the water is very salty, as there is no salt in the “oil sauce”. 
  2. Add the pasta and cook until it’s al dente.
  3. While the spaghetti are boiling, add the bread crumbs to a pan and toast them. Once they turn golden, set them aside.
  4. 4-5 minutes before the pasta is ready, put the oil, garlic and peperoncini in a large deep pan set over low-medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes until garlic is translucent and golden and remove it.
  5. Drain the spaghetti, and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  6. Add the oil sauce and toss well. If needed, in addition you can use the reserved pasta water a bit at a time to finish cooking the pasta, and develop a thickened sauce.
  7. Start adding the bread crumbs and keep mixing well. Add the parsley at the very end.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

If you give this recipe a go, please let me know what you think! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag your pictures with #thenonmetropolitan on Instagram. I would love to see your creations!

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