Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes

Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes
Spring Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes (Spaghetti with Garlic Olive Oil and Chili Peppers)

Sometimes the simplest of dishes are the best. And this one is absolutely stunning! With just a few simple ingredients, you will have a fulfilling and flavorful pasta dish that comes together in no time. This rendition of Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes is a quick and easy dish that you will make time and time again.

Origins of the Dish

This is a slight riff on the classic Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and chili peppers), which is a dish native to Lazio, Italy (according to the Italian Academy of Cuisine). The basic/original dish was simply spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, and red chili peppers. We added the tomatoes, sunflower microgreens and sunflower seeds because we can’t resist the freshness and flavor pop they give the dish, but nothing else is necessary. Even the cheese is served as an option at the table for us.

Spaghetti with Garlic Olive Oil and Chili Peppers
A riff on a classic dish of Spaghetti with Garlic Olive Oil and Chili Peppers

Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes

We really love garlic, but we are always careful not to over-do it when using fresh garlic in dishes. There is a perfect amount here, and being a headliner in the name of the recipe, garlic should certainly stand out!

In our opinion, many American versions of classic Italian dishes are way too heavy on the garlic. Although we are garlic lovers, we believe that it’s great in some dishes, but doesn’t need to be included in EVERY dish, which is why you won’t find garlic in many of our Italian and Italian-inspired dishes. Here, we add just enough to make it memorable but not the center of attention, as it should be.

Now, red pepper flakes are Mark’s favorite spice in the world! So, there’s a bias here, but they are so versatile and flavorful. In this recipe they add just the right amount of heat, but really compliment the flavor of the pasta and garlic.

Spring Flavors

Spaghetti with Garlic Olive Oil and Chili Peppers with Sunflower Microgreens and Roasted Sunflower Seeds
The Blistered Tomatoes, Sunflower Microgreens and Sunflower seeds add freshness, flavor and texture to the spaghetti

The crunch of the roasted sunflower seeds and nutty freshness of the sunflower microgreens is enough to remind you that it is indeed spring without changing the overall flavor profile of the dish. If you can’t find these microgreens, no need to worry! This dish is quite lovely without them, BUT keep your eye out for sunflower microgreens and definitely add them if you can get your hands on them!

Although we love using fresh herbs in dishes, using some restraint here so the garlic and pepper shine through really works. The flavors are delicate but assertive, so adding anything too flavorful would compromise the dish. The sunflower seeds and sunflower microgreens are so subtle, yet satisfying. But even without them, this dish is delicious!

If you look through the recipe and think something must be missing, trust us, not true! Although minimalistic with ingredients and easy to prepare, this dish is a superstar in the pasta rotation and an absolute flavor bomb!


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes
Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes

If you are looking for more recipes like this, check these out:

Looking for more Italian recipe inspo?

If you want even more Italian-inspired recipes, check out our cookbook, Mangiamo, filled with 60 original recipes!

Mangiamo the cookbook
Mangiamo, the cookbook

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Spring Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with Blistered Tomatoes

5 from 1 vote
Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



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  • 1 1 recipe multipurpose pasta cut into spaghetti (or 1 lb store bought spaghetti)

  • 6 Tbsp 6 extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tsp 2 kosher salt

  • 20 20 grape tomatoes (whole)

  • 5 large 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1 ½ tsp red pepper flakes

  • Sunflower Microgreens (for garnish)

  • Roasted Sunflower Seeds (for garnish)

  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (for garnish)

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for garnish)


  • Start a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta. Place a large pan on the stove over low heat. If cooking fresh pasta, when the water in the large pot boils, add the olive oil and salt to the large pan. If cooking store-bought, dried pasta, cook your pasta following the package directions about 70% of the total cooking time before adding the oil and salt to the large pan.
  • Next, add the tomatoes to the pan and drop the fresh pasta into your water at the same time. After about two minutes, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. The garlic should gently sizzle if the heat is at the correct temperature – turn the heat up slightly if necessary.
  • After about a minute more (3 minutes total) the fresh pasta should be done, al dente. Turn off the heat to the garlic and oil and remove the spaghetti from the pot to a strainer and drain. Once drained, immediately add the spaghetti to the pan with the garlic and oil. Toss to combine thoroughly.
  • Garnish with sunflower microgreens and roasted sunflower seeds. Drizzle additional extra virgin olive oil and add grated Parmesan as desired.


  • Please note, if using fresh pasta, your cooking time should be 2-3 minutes. If using store bought, dried pasta, follow the directions on the packaging to cook your pasta al dente before draining and tossing in the garlic and olive oil sauce.

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