Spaghetti with chilli and garlic


This cheap and easy recipe for spaghetti with chilli flakes and garlic serves 4, and is on the table in 25 minutes.

25 minutes 4 people Main course
Spaghetti with chilli and garlic


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  • 400 grams of dried spaghetti
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried red chilli flakes (or more to taste)
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley
  • Sprig of chopped fresh basil
  • Salt
Spaghetti with chilli and garlic ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • Large saucepan
  • Chef's knife
  • Chopping board
  • Colander


25 minutes 4 people Main course

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Preparation – 10 minutes

Put a large saucepan of water over a high heat, add some salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Finely chop the 4 cloves of garlic, then do the same with the herbs: fresh parsley and fresh basil.

You can use dried parsley and/or basil if you like. We prefer fresh herbs because of the oils they release into the dish. 

Spaghetti with chilli and garlic
Spaghetti with chilli and garlic

Finishing the spaghetti with chilli and garlic – 15 minutes

Once al dente, drain the pasta, setting aside about half a cup of the pasta water. You'll need this to make the sauce; the water contains starch from the pasta which will help the sauce coat the pasta.

Put a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the chopped garlic. Sauté the garlic until it's lightly golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic, otherwise it will become bitter.

Remove the cooked pieces of garlic from the pan. Add the red chilli flakes to the hot oil and sauté for around a minute.

Carefully add the reserved water from the pasta into the saucepan. Do not pour all of it in one go; the olive oil is very hot and when it comes into contact with pasta water it can splutter quite violently. Add the cooked spaghetti to the saucepan and mix well. Heat through for around a minute.

Serving the spaghetti with chilli and garlic

Remove the saucepan from heat and garnish the chilli spaghetti with the cooked garlic and fresh herbs. It's best if you use a deep plate for this to prevent the olive oil sauce from escaping.

As you can see from the photo, we served this with a good Merlot. Enjoy your meal!

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