Total Time: 20 minutes

Spaghetti ajo  ojo e peperoncino also called as hot pepper flakes are added. It’s believed to be a dish originated in central Italy, somewhere. I know it is very popular in Rome. I have it listed in Roman pasta recipes. It is very simple to prepare and so tasty and satisfying. Of course you must love garlic. So easy and quick to make, it’s maybe the best refuge for a quick condiment of spaghetti. I can’t even call this a sauce as the cooking takes less than five minutes.

There is only another plate of pasta as quick and easier, sarcastically, with reason and with an innuendo referred to as  “la pasta dei cornuti“.


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teapoon hot pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecorino or parmigiano
  • salt to taste



Put oil in a large deep pan or a wok, over moderate heat and cook briefly garlic and hot peppers. then some water from pasta.

With heat off, pour cooked spaghetti in the pan. Mix quickly and thoroughly adding parsley.  Serve immediately.


Note: Spaghetti ajo e ojo can be done without peperoncino (hot pepper). Use extra virgin olive oil if you can, but especially in this dish, because it’s a key ingredient. Grated cheese is not in the original dish and not even parsley. If I had to choose I’d rather skip cheese. Experiment and see what you like best.

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