Simple, fragrant and inexpensive, this spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is so good, cheap, satisfying and ready in a flash! Recipe updated: originally posted in November 2018, I've tweaked the post adding more notes and new pictures.
1tspdried chili flakes, or to taste(or 3 fresh chillies)
1/4 cupfresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cupgrated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve(optional, if you don't keep it vegan)
salt, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente: the spaghetti is soft but still has a little bite.
While the spaghetti is cooking make the sauce: If you don't use dried chili flakes, remove the seeds from the chilies and finely chop. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves.
Heat the olive oil gently in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chili and cook gently for a few minutes, or until the garlic is pale gold, which will be enough time for the flavorings to infuse the oil (take care not to burn it!). Stir in chopped parsley.
Drain the spaghetti still "al dente", reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
Add spaghetti to the frying pan, stir well to coat with the oil, add some starchy cooking water, as much as needed to ensure the pasta is moist and juicy*. Cook on medium heat for 30 seconds, stirring a couple of times.
Sprinkle the spaghetti with extra chopped parsley, and grated parmesan cheese if you don't keep it vegan. Enjoy!
Tips: Heating the garlic and chilli too much will send it bitter. Make sure the garlic doesn't get any darker than pale gold.Cooking water: add pasta water gradually, you might not need all of it. You don't want to water down the flavor, but only make spaghetti nice and moist.NOTE: Nutritional values are estimates only (the amount of calories doesn't include parmesan cheese).