Whole-wheat Penne Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino


This has to be the simplest and the quickest Pasta that you can whip up. Takes around 20-30 minutes if you have all the ingredients available. More than half of that time is taken for just boiling the pasta 😉 The primary flavor of this pasta comes from Aglio (garlic), Olio (Olive oil), lots of it (Classic as well as Extra Virgin) and Peperoncino aka Chili Pepper flakes.

I used whole-wheat penne here coz we were on a diet guilt-trip but this one tastes better with regular penne or spaghetti/fettucini or ribbon/farfalle 🙂

Ingredients (Serves 3):

Pasta of your choice : enough for 3 people
Extra Virgin Olive Oil : 2 Tablespoons
Classic Olive Oil : 2 Tablespoons
Garlic : Peeled and minced, 2 Tablespoons
Chili Flakes : With or without seeds as per your liking, 2 Tablespoons
Salt : To taste
Basil Leaves : A small bunch
Mixed Italian Herbs : Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, 1 tsp
Cherry tomatoes : A big handful, cut in half
Zucchini (Optional) : A 2 inch piece, cut into thin quarter slices
Red & Yellow Peppers (Optional) : About 1/4th each cut into half an inch pieces
Black Olives (Optional) : Whole, 4-5
Capers (Optional) : Whole, 4-5
Parmesan Cheese (Optional) : Only for final garnish if needed


  1. Boil the pasta al dente with required salt, drain and keep aside. You can do all the other preps at the same time.
  2. Pour the Olive Oil into a heated Pan and toss in the garlic and chili flakes.
  3. Saute until slightly brown and toss in the Veggies (except tomatoes).
  4. Saute for a couple of minutes and toss in the cooked pasta.
  5. Mix thoroughly to ensure that the garlic and chili flakes are coated nicely on the pasta.
  6. Reduce the heat, roughly tear the basil leaves with your hand, toss in along with the cherry tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Adjust the salt as required.
  7. Switch off the heat as soon as the leaves and tomatoes wilt.
  8. Take the pan off the stove and pour in the Extra Virgin Olive oil and toss it well. Toss in the Olives and Capers if you are using em.
  9. If you like, grate some parmesan over, while serving.
  10. Adding cherry tomatoes, veggies, olives, capers etc is your choice. I like it that way…This pasta will taste good without any of it too.

Another personal favorite of mine is the Penne Al Pesto. Watch out for my recipe for the same 🙂

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