Basic Garlic and Chilli Pasta

, from Issue #90. March, 2020
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Basic Garlic and Chilli Pasta

Originally designed for late-night Italian revellers on their arrival home this basic pasta is a ready in a flash.

Serves: 1


100 grams dried spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra to serve
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan 
sea salt and ground pepper



Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 1 minute less than the packet instructions. 

While the spaghetti is cooking heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the garlic and chilli flakes over a low heat for 2 minutes or until lightly golden but not browned. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve a ¼ cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta. Add the hot pasta and reserved water to the sauté pan along with the parsley and toss together. Add 3 tablespoons of the parmesan and toss again.

Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little more oil, the remaining parmesan, a pinch of sea salt and a grind of pepper. 

Where’s the meat? 
Feel free to protein-up by cooking 60 grams raw prawns, chopped chorizo, bacon or pancetta in the oil before adding the garlic and chilli flakes.

Work it your way 
Add cooked thawed, peeled prawns with the garlic and chilli flakes. 

Slice a cured chorizo sausage into thin rounds and cook until lightly golden. 

Pop in a handful of baby spinach leaves and toss to wilt.

Slice a couple of marinated artichokes and stir 
through the oil.

Chop 3-4 good anchovies and let them melt into the oil.

Add 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon 
of lemon juice.

Capers, green and black olives are all fantastic add-ins. 

Add a small handful of roughly chopped hazelnuts, pine nuts or walnuts to the garlic oil and cook until lightly golden.