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What’s cooking today: Tagliatelle aglio e olio e pepe...



What’s cooking today: Tagliatelle aglio e olio e peperoncino

Tony Jackman’s aglio e olio e peperoncino served in a bowl from Mervyn Gers Ceramics. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This pasta dish sings of Italy; you hear Puccini’s Nessun Dorma in your head when the aromas find your nostrils and the first forkful your palate.

Here’s my version of the classic Italian late-night meal, aglio e olio e peperoncino. You need plenty of garlic for those, so don’t stint; if the ones you have are small cloves, use more of them. This recipe is best served with this column.


500 g tagliatelle or spaghetti

4 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped

½ cup / 125 ml Babylonstoren Frantoio cold extracted extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp red chilli flakes

Coarse sea/ kosher salt

Black pepper

3 Tbsp pasta water

Finely grated Parmesan (optional)


Of course you can use another olive oil of your choice, but this recipe does deserve a fine quality product.

Pour the olive oil into a small pot and add the chopped garlic and green chilli. Apply a small amount of heat to warm it up so that the garlic and chilli flavours begin to steep into it. Let it steep for 10 minutes on the lowest heat. Season with coarse sea (kosher) salt and black pepper and add the chilli flakes. Judge how salty and peppery it needs to be while tasting and adding, but bear in mind that it does need to be quite salty and peppery.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Spoon off 3 or 4 Tbsp of the pasta water and reserve it to add to the pasta before serving.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Pour in the aglio e olio, add the reserved pasta water and the chopped parsley, toss through and serve, with or without grated Parmesan. I hesitate to confess that I did add finely grated Parmigiano. I hope the spirit of Nino in his Italian heaven will forgive me. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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