the best late night pasta

serves 1

Happy Friday night! I thought I’d get a quick recipe from Coming Unstuck on the blog tonight for any of you heading out on the town who might return late with a bad case of the munchies – a super quick, utterly satisfying, classic Italian pasta loaded with garlic and chilli. It was actually apparently originally created for exactly the situation I just described – you only need a few ingredients, and it’s ready in a flash…and I know it is on regular rotation for a few owners of the book.

Crikey I have so much book-related news, but for the moment it will have to keep for another day. In the meantime, I have spent the day cooking and writing, singing and dancing in my seat while blasting Aretha Franklin on my computer. ‘Who’s Zooming Who’ was the soundtrack of my Swiss scholarship year at the tender age of 17 – and I love it just as much now as I did then. Aretha, the Queen of Soul, so sad to hear of her death…another reminder to make the most of every day we’re above ground!

Other than secret squirrel book news, it’s been a pretty regular week – an average showing at pub quiz night on Monday (actually pretty standard, but a total laugh as always), followed by a fabulous night at Bahrulo in Parnell with the uber-talented food editor of Dish, Claire Aldous, and Nici Wickes, both so inspirational. Last night it was all glamour and bubbles at the launch of Giorgio Armani makeup at Smith and Caughey’s in town – God I do love an excuse to get out and check out the beautiful people! So – tonight, it’s a quiet night in before the first Bledisloe rugby test tomorrow night, I have a team coming around for a feast of beef cheek ragu pasta bake and rhubarb crumble ice-cream with a few bottles of red on standby. Wishing you a fabulous weekend, take care, have fun and see you next week…

(…oh and before I forget this recipe serves one, but multiplies easily for whatever number you’re serving.)

100g dried spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed (start with 2 cloves if you’re garlic-shy…but meh why would you!?)
½ tsp chilli flakes
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a big pot of well-salted salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti. While it cooks for 1 minute less than the packet directions, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the garlic and chilli flakes for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is softened but not starting to brown. Season well with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Add the hot pasta to the garlic and chilli with the parsley, and reserved pasta water. Toss to combine then add 3 tablespoons of the cheese and toss again. Serve topped with the rest of the parmesan and another grinding of pepper and sea salt.


  1. As a fellow late night pasta lover I must say that your recipe is bang on. Give me a bowl of your late night pasta and a large glass of Man O’ War Bellerophon (yep we get it in Sweden), heaven.

  2. hi! may I ask where the bowl used in the photos if from? Looks like the perfect pasta/soup bowl! Thank you!!

    1. Hmmm…I can’t actually remember, but I think I got it at Father Rabbit at the Bloc in Auckland!

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