Oil, Garlic & Chilli Spaghetti True 10 Minutes Recipe
Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino Photo

I am not sure if any of you have ever experienced that but flipping pages (or browsing online) looking for recipes makes me feel that everything is easy to cook…

The truth come out in less than 5 minutes after having started working on “that thing” and, at the end of the story, I manage to sort things out (let’s say that) at least in double of the time “advertised”.

For me actually it is a lesson I learned pretty fast since I moved to live by myself when I was quite young and… I wasted so much food and… I made so many people wait for too long mismatching the cooking time of most of the other dishes.

Long-to-short: if the recipe tells “10 minutes”, make it double at least (and yes… we need to look at the preparation time of a dish more than at the photo pasted nearby there).

Back to our spaghetti! The concept is common here on Eathic.hk: “keep it simple & keep it natural”; this time we add also a “keep it short” which, actually, generally matches.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 400g/14oz spaghetti
  • 1/2 (half) teaspoon of PepperuKo ground chilli
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until the spaghetti is soft but still has a little bite (AL DENTE)
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, peel and finely chop the garlic
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook the garlic gently for a few (2/3) minutes and add the chilli powder when the garlic looks ready
  4. Drain the spaghetti and add to the frying pan, mix to coat with the oil
  5. Season with a bit of salt (taste it first) and serve (you can sprinkle the spaghetti with some fresh parsley if you like)

Let me say something here: it takes 2/3 minutes to prepare the dressing but you need to stay there and “play” with the pan.
The 10 minutes of preparation are directly related to the cooking time of the pasta. Generally in HK it takes 2/3 minutes more than in Italy to cook real Italian pasta because of the type of water we have here.

Last but not the least: try with different PepperuKo, this dish is really the best way to appreciate the different flavours of each chilli


Salted water = wait to the water to boil, add coarse salt (better if sea-salt) and stir a little bit, then add the pasta.

Garlic looks ready = the garlic has to turn yellow/gold, be careful not to make it too orange and of course not to make it burnt (black). The trick of this recipe is all in here: raw garlic won’t give the right taste, burn it and this dish will turn to carbon coke taste spaghetti.

Add to the frying pan = this is a typical process in Italy but most of the time is disregarded or forgotten (by non-Italian while cooking at home). Never put the garnish, whatever it is, on the pasta! We need to merge properly the pasta together with its condiment and the best (probably the only) way to do it is diving our pasta in the pan where the sauce was prepared. Stir a bit with little fire… “perfetto!”.

Let me know how it was (and how long it took)

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