'The three-ingredient pasta recipe I cook every week that's perfect for busy weeknights'

Spaghetti garlic olive oil and chili pepper
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))

Whipping up a quick homemade meal doesn't mean you have to compromise on health or resort to the microwave.

This scrumptious Italian-style pasta recipe, known as 'spaghetti aglio e olio', is one I've perfected over time, achieving the ideal balance of seasoning to complement the pasta.

The dish is crafted from three key ingredients; dried pasta (either spaghetti or linguine will do), fresh red chilli, and chopped garlic cloves, all cooked up in mere minutes in a frying pan.

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One of the many perks of this recipe is that it utilises whole ingredients that are typically on hand, even when the fridge is looking rather bare.

It's also a perfect fit for a Mediterranean diet, with high-quality olive oil used to amplify the flavours of the ingredients and enhance the silky texture of the pasta, reports the Express.

Chilli garlic pasta recipe:

Ingredients for two.

200g spaghetti.

One or two fresh red chillies.

Two garlic cloves.

Extra virgin olive oil.

Chopped parsley to serve (optional).


Preparing this dish is a breeze, requiring just a frying pan and a saucepan to begin. Fill the saucepan with boiling water from a kettle, or use cold tap water and heat it up (though bear in mind this will take longer).

Add a dash of coarse salt to the water and toss in the spaghetti. Cook the pasta until it's soft but still retains a bit of bite for the perfect texture.

As your pasta is bubbling away, add a good splash of olive oil to a frying pan and set it over a medium heat. In the meantime, finely chop up the red chillies, making sure to discard the seeds.

I reckon one-and-a-half chillies hit the spot for two people with a moderate spice tolerance, but feel free to adjust to your liking.

Next, peel and finely chop the garlic cloves, then toss them into the pan along with the diced chilli. Let these ingredients gently sizzle for a few minutes, taking care not to let them brown too much.

Once your pasta is perfectly al dente, drain it off in a colander, keeping back a tablespoon of the pasta water if you fancy. Toss the drained pasta into the pan of chilli and garlic, giving it a good stir and adding a bit more oil if needed.

After it's nicely coated, season with a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper and dish up into two bowls. Chop some fresh parsley and sprinkle on top, or finish with a handful of rocket and a dusting of grated Parmesan.

This dish is incredibly versatile and works a treat with a variety of additional flavours; consider cooking prawns alongside the pasta, tossing in spinach just before you take the pan off the heat, or adding finely chopped onion to the base. Or why not serve with a side of fresh mussels?

Round off your homemade Italian feast with a delicious tiramisu. Enjoy!

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