A late night snack in Italy might be plate of spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with oil and garlic) made with ingredient variations from the midnight kitchen. It’s basic, it’s quick and it’s loaded with somulating carbohydrates.

Aglio e olio is a traditional Italian casalinga (home style) pasta dish. Everyone knows how to make it. It’s very simple with three basic ingredients.


  • fresh garlic (thinly sliced but I prefer it roughly crushed) – aglio
  • extra virgin olive oil – olio
  • pasta – spaghetti

Some recipes add or infuse crushed red pepper (pepperoncino) or chili flakes into the oil. Some recipes add anchovies or olives pressing them with the back of a spoon to break them up then cooking over a low flame until the ingredients are melted before tossing them with the hot, moist spaghetti in a large frying pan. My father-in-law would make this dish with just garlic and oil, adding some browned walnuts and breadcrumbs at the end and called it Baker’s Spaghetti.

Pasta di Mezzanotte (Midnight Pasta) is a popular pasta dish in Italy and a satisfying meal after a night on the town. There’s even a book called Spaghetti di Mezzanotte by Claudio Nobbio with witty pasta recipes for a romantic garlic lovers dinner at midnight.


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