Pretty much everyone loves spaghetti, from the youngest among us to the oldest of sweet Oldies. This pasta is based on “Spaghetti Aglio e Olio” but has a porky prosciutto di Parma twist — a bit of crispy fried prosciutto adds a slightly smokey flavor-bomb finish to each bite. And if you like spicy food, feel free to add as much chili pepper as you want. This pasta comes together in 15 minutes or less and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge!
What’s the Easiest Pasta for Kiddos To Learn How to Make?
My guy has a few simple dishes that he makes really well. And “Spaghetti Aglio e Olio” (Spaghetti with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and chili pepper) is the one he makes the most. It’s easy and inexpensive to make not to mention, super tasty. So, it’s no surprise that it’s popular with just about every Italian and one of the first pasta’s that kids here learn how to make. All you need is olive oil, garlic, a pinch (or three) of sliced hot chili or crushed red chili peppers, and a little parsley (if you’re being fancy). Starchy pasta water is added to the sauce towards the end to develop a silky and slightly creamy sauce. For this recipe, I experimented by adding sautéed crispy prosciutto and I used my Sichuan red chili peppers. The bacony bits of extra flavor mixed with the spicy garlic sauce works really well, so feel free to load it up or leave it out and make the original Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.
It’s all about that garlicky pork sauce.
The sauce is obviously the most important part of this pasta. It’s filled with golden bits of fried garlic and crispy smokey prosciutto in every bite. And it’s naturally creamy from the olive oil emulsified with a little starchy pasta cooking water. You can make this pasta as spicy (or not) as you want. If you enjoy the flavor of garlic, but don’t enjoy eating copious amounts of it, infuse the olive oil with smashed garlic cloves instead and then remove the whole cloves after they’ve flavored the oil. Also, feel free to brighten up this pasta with a little flatleaf parsley. It tastes great and gives the pasta a nice fresh look.
Ingredients for making Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino w/Crispy Prosciutto
- spaghetti noodles
- extra virgin olive oil
- smokey prosciutto or speck
- 1 whole dried chili pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
- sea salt
How to MakeSpaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino W/Crispy Prosciutto
- Prepare the sauce. Add the olive oil, garlic, chili peppers, and prosciutto to the pan and cook on medium heat until the prosciutto is crispy and the garlic is golden brown and turn off the heat. Remove the prosciutto, crumble it and add it back to the pan while the pasta cooks.
- Cook the spaghetti. Add spaghetti to a pot of lightly salted boiling water and cook to “al dente” or according to package directions.
- Finish the sauce. One to 2 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, heat the garlic mixture on medium and add about 1/4 cup of starchy pasta cooking water and twirl the pan as it reduces.
- Assemble the ingredients and toss. When the noodles are finished cooking, strain them (saving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water) and add noodles directly to the pan with the sauce and toss everything well to coat. If you need to add more pasta water do so at this point with the heat still on. When the consistency is silky smooth and just right, it’s ready to serve. Adjust seasonings and add salt if necessary Enjoy!
Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino W/Crispy Prosciutto tips + tricks +FAQ’s
- Where does Spaghetti come from? Spaghetti, as we know it today, was invented in Italy.
- Is spaghetti Chinese or Italian? A lot of historians believe pasta as we know it today originated in Italy. It’s believed that Marco Polo introduced the concept of the noodle to Italy after his travels to China. At that time, the Chinese were making noodles out of rice flour. In Italy, spaghetti and other types of pasta are made exclusively from hard durum wheat.
- Where are the earliest known noodles from? The earliest known pasta was made from rice flour in the East. The Chinese were actually making rice noodle-like foods as early as 3000 B.C. Scientists have found evidence of noodle making in the 4th century B.C., in an Etruscan tomb. We can thank the Chinese for the concept and knowledge of noodle-making. We can give respect to Marco Polo for bringing back his worldly food knowledge from his adventures in the Far East. And we can thank the Italians for taking the concept of pasta to an entirely new level. The noodles in China and the noodles in Italy aren’t comparable. I’ve eaten my fair share of delicious noodles in both countries. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.
- What are the top 5 Italian Pasta dishes of all time? In my opinion, it’s impossible there are only 5 pasta dishes that would beat out all the rest. But if I were forced to decide, it could be any of the following: Ragù alla Bolognese (with rigatoni, pappardelle or any other appropriate noodle), Pesto alla Genovese, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Spaghetti or Bucatini all’Amatriciana, Spaghetti or Linguine alle Vongole, and Bigoli all’Anatra. These pasta dishes offer a wide variety of deliciousness and are a great place to start your pasta journey.
How to Cook Pasta Like a Pro Every Time
If you’ve eaten a forkful of pasta at your favorite restaurant you may have wondered why it can sometimes be so much richer and velvety (even tastier) than the stuff you make at home. Restaurants typically use more fat (and sometimes dairy) than you’d ever imagine cooking with at home. And one of the biggest differences between your spaghetti and theirs mostly comes down to cooking techniques and the quality of ingredients used. In order to bring out the best texture, flavor, and maximum pasta goodness, follow the guidelines below.
- Don’t pre-cook your pasta noodles. In most cases, try to time the pasta so that the sauce is ready just before (or well in advance of) the noodles and not the other way around.
- Add starchy pasta cooking water to the sauce. Just before the noodles are finished cooking to “al dente” doneness, add a little starchy water to the sauce and stir.
- Don’t over-salt the cooking water. If the pasta cooking water is too salty, it’ll make your final sauce too salty when it gets added. Alternatively, if the pasta water is not salty enough, the noodles will be bland.
- Cook the pasta directly in the sauce at the end and toss. When you can, it’s good to finish cooking the noodles directly in the sauce for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. But this is not a technique to be used when making Pasta alla Carbonara because egg yolks are involved.
- Don’t add any cheese while the sauce is boiling, simmering, or otherwise cooking. Adding grated cheese to a pasta sauce while it’s cooking, causes the cheese to separate and become stringy. The fat in the cheese will separate leaving the sauce oily. Instead, remove the sauce or pasta from the heat and add the cheese after 15-20 seconds. Alternatively, in some recipes, you may serve the grated cheese at the table instead of adding it directly to the pasta.
- Skip the dairy. Butter and cream aren’t necessary to create a smooth velvety texture to pasta, although in the right amounts and in the right sauce the addition can be delicious. If you’re using dairy to enhance the flavor, go for it, but if you’re just trying to create a better mouthfeel, use the techniques above and you can’t go wrong.
- If the sauce is tomato-based use Mutti brand tomatoes (or the best San Marzano DOP tomatoes). My recommended canned tomato brand to use for all your tomato-based pasta sauces is Mutti. These are the best 100% Italian (non-GMO, no additives or preservatives added), tomatoes from near and around Parma, Italy. These tomatoes are available in the US (and other global markets including China. In Italy, if your family doesn’t grow and can their own tomatoes, or buy them from a local producer, Mutti is a staple found in just about every cupboard here. The reason is simple. These tomatoes are delicious with intense real tomato flavor. We have access to an abundant variety of high-quality canned San Marzano DOP tomatoes that we love and buy, but we still always keep Mutti on hand. They’re consistently great-tasting. This is important when I’m developing and sharing recipes. I want the Biting audience to have the best possible results when replicating a dish at home. Using a consistent brand that’s available to me and you make the most sense. I’m not paid by Mutti. for the endorsement. They are just one of the best brands out there, and using them absolutely will make all the difference in your homemade pasta or pizza sauce.