Gather Ingredients

Capellini is a delicious Italian dish and can be quickly prepared with the right ingredients. To make a successful capellini, you need to have the right ingredients to hand. All the basic ingredients can be found at the local grocery store.

To make capellini, you will need:

  • Capellini pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Your choice of vegetables and herbs for seasoning.

Once you have all your ingredients, you can get started.


Capellini is a type of Italian pasta that is made from durum semolina flour and egg, making it much thinner than other varieties. It is very quick-cooking, taking just 2 to 3 minutes to be perfectly al dente. Capellini, also called angel hair pasta, should be served with light sauces since it cooks so quickly and can become mushy when cooked too long.

When making capellini at home, it’s helpful to have all the ingredients pre-measured and ready before you start the cooking process. To make a simple capellini dish:

  1. Gather Ingredients:
    • 1 pound capellini
    • Salt
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
    • Pepper to taste
  2. Begin boiling a large pot of salted water on high heat for the pasta.

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the main ingredients in capellini, as it adds flavor, richness, and saltiness to the dish. Start by picking a mild extra-virgin olive oil that is slightly sweet with a light grassy aroma. It’s important to use a high-quality olive oil because it will provide a more intense flavor and better overall taste. If you do not have extra virgin olive oil on hand, regular olive oil will also work.

Add one tablespoon of high-quality extra virgin or regular olive oil to your pan as the first step when cooking capellini. You may need to add more during the cooking process if your sauce reduces too quickly or your pasta sticks too much to the pan.


Salt is a key ingredient for any recipe, and capellini is no exception. For best results, use kosher salt or sea salt. If you prefer to use table salt in a recipe, you’ll need to adjust the amount as table salt is much more finely ground than other types of salt and therefore packs more punch with each sprinkle.

Depending on the size of your pasta pot, it’s generally recommended to add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water when cooking capellini. The addition of enough salt will make the water come to a boil quickly and prevent your noodles from sticking together. Additionally, salty water will help give flavor to the noodles once cooked.

To learn more about the importance of salting your pasta water, check out this article about proper pasta cooking techniques.

Optional ingredients (e.g. garlic, red pepper flakes, etc.)

Optional ingredients can be added to capellini for a variety of flavors and aromas. Common additions include garlic, red pepper flakes or other spices, Parmesan cheese, and even bacon.

  • To add garlic, simply sauté a few cloves in olive oil until lightly browned before adding the capellini.
  • For a spicy kick, add red pepper flakes to the boiling water before dropping in the noodles.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese is a classic accompaniment to pasta dishes and gives capellini an extra burst of flavor – simply sprinkle it on top as soon as your dish is ready to serve.
  • For those who love bacon, fry some up first and then crumble it over your finished dish for another layer of texture and flavor.
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No matter which variation you choose, adding optional ingredients to your meal can turn capellini into an even more delicious option!

Preparing the Ingredients

Making capellini is a relatively easy and fast meal. Preparing the ingredients is the most critical step in the process, as it will determine the flavor of the dish.

You will need capelletti pasta (or any kind of thin pasta), garlic, olive oil, butter, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, parsley, and salt. Let’s go through each ingredient so you can make the perfect capellini:

  1. Capelletti pasta (or any kind of thin pasta)
  2. Garlic
  3. Olive oil
  4. Butter
  5. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  6. Parsley
  7. Salt

Peel and mince garlic (if desired)

Garlic, often referred to as the stinking rose by chefs, can add a delightful flavor when used in cooking. If desired, you can mince or chop garlic for this recipe.

To mince garlic, start by removing the paper membrane from the outside of the clove and peeling away the skin layer. Next, place the peeled garlic clove on a cutting board and hold it in place with your fingers. Use a large knife to finely mince your garlic into small pieces before adding it to the pan with your other ingredients. Be sure not to add too much or your dish will become overwhelming – a little goes a long way! Remember that fresh minced garlic has more of an intense flavor compared to pre-minced options from jars which may not be as pungent.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet

To prepare the capellini, you will need 1 pound of capellini pasta and 4 to 6 tablespoons of olive oil.

Begin by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in your garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant, about one minute. Then, add in a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir these ingredients around the skillet to combine them together.

After this has been done, add your vegetables or meat to the skillet so that they start to cook and absorb all of the wonderful flavors from the olive oil and garlic. Lastly, pour in 1/3 cup of white wine or chicken broth into the skillet and stir everything together so it is evenly distributed. Allow this mixture to simmer for a few minutes or until all your ingredients are cooked through. Once everything is finished cooking you can proceed with adding your capellini into the saucepan!

Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if desired)

Once the good-quality olive oil is heated in the pan, add garlic and red pepper flakes (if desired). Cook over low or medium heat until the garlic begins to turn golden. The garlic will flavor the oil and lightly brown in it, so take care not to burn it. If you do happen to burn it, discard the contents of the pan and start over with a new pan. Freshly chopped garlic also works well for this recipe if you don’t have any pre-minced.

Cooking the Capellini

Capellini is a type of Italian pasta, thinner than spaghetti and similar in shape to angel hair. Making capellini requires some patience and a few specific steps.

To start, you’ll want to bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Once you have a rolling boil, add in your desired amount of capellini and stir the pot to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. Now that you have started to cook the capellini, let’s take a look at the next steps:

Add capellini to boiling water

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. While water is boiling, you can begin adding the capellini to the pot. The capellini should be added gradually in order to prevent excess clumping or sticking together. After adding all of the pasta, stir gently until all of the capellini is submerged in the boiling water.

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Once all of the pasta is submerged gently push any pasta that is stuck together gently apart so it will not stick together once it has been cooked.

Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally

Capellini can be prepared in a variety of ways, from a simple tossed salad to a gourmet pasta dish. For people who like their pasta al dente, cooking time should not exceed 8-10 minutes. It is important to stir the capellini occasionally, or else it may stick together as it cooks. The best way to test for proper cooking is to end by tasting it with a spoon – the pasta should not be overly soft or too hard. When properly cooked, capellini will have a slight firmness with an almost transparent appearance.

Capellini should be cooked in salted and boiling water that never stops boiling during the entire cooking process – this helps keep the pasta from sticking together and preserves its shape better than if cooked at lower temperatures with less movement in the water. As soon as you have added the capellini to the boiling water, stir quickly and continue stirring at intervals of one minute or so until finished cooking. Once done, strain out all excess water immediately before serving for best flavors and texture.

Drain and set aside

After the capellini is cooked and ready, carefully drain off most of the cooking liquid. Be sure to reserve some of the cooking liquid in case you need to thin out dish at any point during the cooking process. When draining, keep in mind that there will be some starchy water clinging to the Capellini, which helps thicken and flavor sauces – a process known as “de-starchification“.

Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil or butter to the capellini with a slotted spoon or spoonula and stir together lightly. This will help keep them from sticking together as they cool. If using for a salad, it’s best to let them cool somewhat so that all of the flavors can blend together better (note: if using for an entree dish later in this article, avoid cooling).

When cool enough to handle, set aside your capellini until you are ready to proceed with your recipe. If storing/preparing ahead of time, place into an airtight container and store at room temperature until ready to use.

Finishing the Dish

Now that all the components of your capellini dish are prepared, it’s time to finish the dish. It is important to time everything perfectly so that the dish comes out beautifully. You’ll need to have all the ingredients ready and have the capellini boiling in salted water. After that, it’s a matter of assembling the components and adding the finishing touches. Let’s get started.

Add capellini to skillet with olive oil

To finish the dish, take a large skillet and add 1-2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, you can go ahead and add your capellini. You want to make sure you spread it out evenly so that every strand can get perfectly cooked.

Stir together the olive oil and capellini with a wooden spoon, then let it cook for about three minutes until it turns light golden color. Be sure to keep stirring around the capellini so that it cooks evenly on all sides.

Once finished cooking, turn off the heat and transfer the capellini onto a plate or bowl for serving.

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Add salt and optional ingredients (if desired)

After the capellini has cooked to your desired taste, add salt and any optional ingredients to the pan. Depending on the other ingredients you plan on using, a variety of spices or herbs can be added such as oregano, basil or thyme.

If you’re looking for a more robust flavor, then adding in red pepper flakes or hot sauce is always an option. Use a little bit of butter in the pan to give the dish a more creamy texture as well as enhance its flavor. Lastly, you can add various kinds of cheese such as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano to bring out the saltiness and add animation to your capellini dish.

Once all of your desired ingredients have been added to the dish, give it a stir and let it heat up in its own steam for around two minutes before serving.

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally

Once the capellini has cooked for 10 minutes, test it a few pieces to make sure it’s tender. If more than a couple of minutes still need to cook, turn the heat down to low and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Stirring is important so that the capellini does not stick together and clump.

Depending on your desired texture and thickness, you can increase or decrease the cooking time by 1-2 minutes. Remember, over-cooking will turn your pasta mushy or gummy; perfect capellini should be al dente (‘to the tooth’ in Italian), which means it should have some bite when you take a bite out of it!


When it comes to serving capellini, there are endless possibilities. You can top them off with any type of sauce, ranging from marinara or alfredo to a creamy pesto or homemade tomato sauce. You can also add a variety of proteins and vegetables to give the dish some extra flavor. You can serve capellini as an appetizer, side, or main dish.

Let’s discuss the various ways you can serve capellini:

Plate the capellini

Once the capellini is cooked, it’s time to plate it. Begin by draining the capellini in a colander and letting the excess water drip off. Then, plate the capellini onto individual plates.

As you are plating, make sure to evenly disperse any toppings or ingredients that can be added to your dish – Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes, garlic chips, etc. To further enhance the presentation of your dish and give customers an appetizing presentation of your finished product, use another spoon to sprinkle garnish on top or around the bowl.

Then take a spoon or tongs and add 2-3 tablespoons (30ml – 45ml) of sauce for each serving of capellini – either one single type of sauce or a combination of different sauces can be used here. Flatten out the sauce overtop of the capellini until it forms a thin layer across each plate – this will ensure that every bite can be fully enjoyed with the flavors of your chosen sauces! Finally, add any additional garnishes around and on top of each plate before bringing your dish out to serve it hot!

Add additional olive oil, salt, and optional ingredients (if desired)

Once the pasta has finished cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer it directly from the boiling water to a large bowl. Add an additional 2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt, and any other ingredients you would like to add for flavor (e.g., fresh herbs, minced garlic and/or red pepper flakes). Gently stir all of the ingredients together with two wooden spoons until the pasta is well coated with oil and evenly seasoned with salt and other optional ingredients.

Serve immediately. Enjoy!

By Reiki

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