Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli

Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. Another simple dish that is popular all over Italy. Serves 4.

Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli ingredients

  • 320 grams spaghetti
  • Garlic to taste — peeled and left whole
  • 1 fresh red chilli — whole
  • Olive oil

  1. Heat plenty of oil in a pan and fry the garlic cloves and chilli until the garlic has browned.
  2. Remove the garlic and chilli. Discard.
  3. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Cook the spaghetti al dente, drain and dress with the flavoured oil.


  1. Add chopped parsley before serving.
  2. Use dried chillis
  3. For a much stronger flavour, chop the garlic and chilli and don’t remove from the oil.

Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli

Grilled cuttlefish

I was reminded of this recipe by a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in last Thursday’s International Guardian.

I used my own homemade chilli oil. To make it add some dried chillis to a bottle of olive oil and leave it for a couple of weeks. If you can’t wait for 2 weeks, use fresh chilli or chilli flakes.

If you want to know how to butterfly squid or cuttlefish, check out Hugh’s article here. Or watch this video

Serves 4

grilled cuttlefish ingredients

  •   2  medium cuttlefish (or squid) — cleaned and butterflied
  •   chilli oil
  •   1 large clove garlic — finely chopped
  •   salt and pepper
  1. Chop off the tentacles and butterfly the cuttlefish
  2. Divide each set of tentacles into 2
  3. Season the cuttlefish with the garlic, salt and pepper and a good slug of chilli oil
  4. Heat a grill pan to the hottest temperature you can manage
  5. Grill cut side up for about 2 minutes
  6. Turn and grill for a further 2 minutes
  7. Turn once more and grill for a final minute
  8. Serve with a salad on the side
Grilled cuttlefish finished dish

Grilled cuttlefish finished dish

Orecchiette with tomatoes and ricotta

  This is the first dish I had cooked for me in Pulgia. Orecchiette is the most traditional pasta of the region. The most popular way to serve them is with turnip tops (cime di rape) , but this way is also common. Feel free to leave out the chilli. This dish uses ricotta dura which is a type of aged ricotta from Puglia. It has a fairly mild, but distinct flavour.  Don’t try this using regular soft ricotta, it won’t be the same. It would probably be ok with a mild pecorino if you can’t find ricotta duraServes 4

Orrecciete with tomatoes and ricotta dura ingredients

Orrecciete with tomatoes and ricotta dura ingredients
  •   400  grams  orecchiette — fresh if possible
  •   300  grams  cherry tomato — halved
  •   1       handful  basil leaves — torn
  •   3       tablespoons  ricotta dura — grated
  •   1       clove  garlic — peeled
  •   3       tablespoons  olive oil
  •            pinch  chilli flakes
  1. Fry the garlic clove in the olive oil until golden and then discard.
  2. Add the tomatoes and chilli and continue cooking for about 15 minutes
  3. Just before the end of cooking, add the basil
  4. Mix with the cooked orecchiette, top with the cheese and serve

Penne Arrabbiata

There are 1001 different versions of penne arrabbiata. Here’s mine. (So does that now make 1002? 🙂 )  The name means angry penne because of the chilli. Feel free to adjust the chillies if you prefer it milder or hotter. I even heard of someone cooking it without any chilli! They still insisted on calling it penne arrabbiata though. I would have thought penne felice would have been more appropriate 🙂 Serves 4

Penne arrabbiata ingredients

Penne arrabbiata ingredients

  • 320 g  penne rigate
  •  100 g  pancetta — cubed
  •  2 Fresh or dried chillies — chopped
  •  2 cloves  garlic — chopped
  • 200 g tomato — peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 50 g parmesan cheese — grated
  • A large sprig of parsley — chopped
  1. Fry the pancetta for a few minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for
    a few more minutes
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat for around 20 minutes
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente
  4. Mix the sauce with the pasta and then mix in the cheese and parsley.
Penne arrabbiata finished dish

Penne arrabbiata finished dish