everyday food made simple

If you saw the title of this post and said, “What?!” No fear, it simply means “spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and chili peppers”.

I have those days where I’m starving for something quick, cheap, homemade, and healthy at the same time, as opposed to quick, expensive, and greasy takeout from some fast-food joint. That being said, this is probably going to be the easiest, simplest dish you’ll ever make. It only requires a few ingredients that most of us probably already have sitting around at home – and you can add extra ingredients to it depending on your mood (and what you have sitting around).

Traditionally, spaghetti aglio, olio, e peperoncino is only made with spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Today I felt like changing things up a bit, so I added shrimp and broccoli to mine. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can substitute any kind of pasta you have sitting at home for the spaghetti. Like today, I went to the cupboard and found less than a handful of angel hair pasta left, so I used some campanelle pasta instead.

Just an FYI – if you happen to use fresh garlic, it’ll give your breath a nice garlicky smell after you’re done eating. Maybe have some gum handy, or enjoy the dish with a friend, that way they can’t complain about your garlicky breath :)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces of spaghetti (or your favorite kind of pasta)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced – if a couple of the cloves you picked are a little puny and sad looking, add another clove or two to the mix
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon black pepper, depending on how spicy you want it
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes – if you’re not a big fan of super spicy foods, you can either omit the chili flakes or just add a few pinches of it

Note: the ingredients above are what goes into a traditional dish. Today I also added 1.5 cups of broccoli florets and about 10-12 large shrimp.


  • If you’re adding shrimp to dish like I did today, place them on a paper towel to absorb the moisture, then season it with salt and pepper. Sauté them in a skillet with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil under medium high heat, about 1 minute per side, until they turn nice and pink.



  • If you’re also adding broccoli, sauté those under medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil under they’re nice and crisp. Lightly season with salt.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, and chili flakes.


  • Cook the pasta according to its directions. Drain.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil under medium heat. Add the minced garlic to the pan. Stir constantly – make sure you don’t burn the garlic. Add the salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add pasta to the skillet, gently toss until the pasta is evenly coated with the olive oil/pepper mixture.
  • Add shrimp and broccoli to pasta.



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