It’s the night before your holiday, you’ve finished packing and the alarm clock is set for an unearthly hour.

You want something to eat, but the fridge is bare. The obvious answer is a take-away. But in the time taken to wait for the delivery, you can create a quick, simple pasta dish with virtually store cupboard ingredients which shouldn’t leave you with too much washing up.

Don’t worry too much about exact quantities, and if you don’t have parmesan, use any cheese remnants lurking in the fridge.

The dish is traditionally made with spaghetti, but I used curly fusili lunghi bucati brought back from a trip to Sicily. 

It went well with the oil I bought from Olio di Luigi ( at Eat or Heat’s Art Market. 

The olives are grown on a Sicilian estate with the oil being ‘lovingly bottled in Bush Hill Park’.

If you’re flying EasyJet and haven’t booked speedy boarding, don’t worry, the garlic fumes will ensure the crowds dissipate as you approach.

Pasta with Oil and Garlic - Aglio E Olio

Serves 2 - simple 


  • 200g dried pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped finely
  • 2 to 4 dried chillies depending on taste, crushed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful parsley


  • Put the pasta into a pan of boiling water and cook until al dente.
  • Meanwhile put the garlic and chillies with the olive oil into a pan and warm gently.
  • Grate the lemon zest and extract the juice.
  • Finely chop the parsley and grate the cheese.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan with all the other ingredients.
  • Stir for a couple of minutes over a low heat until everything is well combined. 
  • Serve immediately in bowls.

Now all I need is to be organised on return. As the fish and chip shop was closed on a Sunday, I’m afraid I resorted to a chicken kebab! 

Let me know what you eat before and after your holiday by e-mailing me at: