You can never have enough pasta in your life. When I was very young my father used to take me to a smart Italian restaurant in Chelsea called The Meridiana owned by his friend Enzo Apicella. Enzo sometimes sat with us while we ate and we would discuss our love of pasta. This is a simple recipe, which is incredibly delicious. It’s also called Aglio E Olio in Italian. There are a lot of versions of it, and you can customise it with whatever you have in the cupboard. It’s called midnight spaghetti because it’s a recipe used by tired, busy chefs after they come home late after long day at work. It’s also called ‘after the party’, so you get the drift…it’s quick, easy and very tasty, particularly after one too many drinks and you are ravenous. Check out midnight spaghetti 2 on here, if you fancy trying another version. It would also be a perfect for a vegetarian dinner party with a salad if you wanted to cook something that is economical and very doable.
Serves 2 but you can double or triple the quantities.
250g dried spaghetti (half a regular packet)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves garlic cut into slivers
¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1-2 tablespoons of vermouth (optional)
a large handful of cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Put a big pot of salted water on the stove and cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet, then drain.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and fry the slivers of garlic and chilli flakes till the garlic is starting to go golden. Remove the pan from heat.
Next, quarter the tomatoes and add to the pan with the vermouth and sauté for about five minutes, till the tomatoes are softening.
Mix the spaghetti with the sauce, the parsley and Parmesan.
Serve with more parsley and Parmesan on top.
Lastly… a boyfriend who lives in Italy and is a great cook, taught me that you have to put lots of salt into the water before you the cook pasta: he would put in about a tablespoon… and he’s right. The pasta tastes much better that way.