Spaghetti with Garlic and Chile Flakes

This simple spaghetti with garlic and chile flakes couldn’t be more simple. Just spaghetti, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes. Great for lunch, snack, or a fast weeknight dinner.

A white enamel pot with a blue rim with spaghetti, chili flakes, and oil in the bottom. A set of wooden tongs sits inside.

This simple spaghetti with garlic and chile flakes is perfect for when the pantry is bare and you’re scrounging for a simple no-stress supper or a late-night nosh or even some morning sustenance when you plop a fried egg atop. So when it’s half past when you’d wanted to eat and it seems like the fridge and pantry are bare, take a look at this recipe. And then think again.–Renee Schettler

Spaghetti with Garlic and Chile Flakes

  • Quick Glance
  • (11)
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 2
4.7/5 - 11 reviews
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Take out a large pot and bring at least 8 cups water to a rolling boil. Add some salt, then plunge in the pasta. Wait for the water to come back to a boil and then cook according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, peel the garlic and slice it as thinly as possible.

When your pasta is ready, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking liquid in a bowl.

Place the pot or a skillet on medium heat and pour in the oil. Add the garlic and chiles and cook briefly, until the garlic just starts to turn golden.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the drained pasta and maybe 2 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid, as much as needed to get your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Originally published Feb. 16, 2012.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

As soon as I read this simple spaghetti recipe, it brought back college memories. Those crazy late nights partying or finishing architectural models, then returning to the dorm and being hungry, yet not wanting to cook a full meal. I used to make something extremely similar, hence I wanted to try this.

I did, however, change a few of the measurements. I decided to make 3 1/2 ounces of pasta with 5 small garlic cloves, 1/2 tablespoon of dried chiles, and 7 tablespoons of olive oil. The final result was absolutely amazing in its full simplicity, and every single person at the table asked me to redo it sometime soon.

I would eat this simple and delicious midnight pasta any time of day! I love pasta recipes like this one because the pasta itself is the star of the show. That is a very Italian concept that I absolutely love — minimal but delicious sauce on quality pasta.

The recipe should clarify how much pasta cooking liquid to reserve as well I recommend only adding about 2o tablespoons back to the cooked pasta so it isn’t too soupy. The red pepper flakes are listed as optional, but I would definitely make them not optional! Overall, this was a truly easy but flavorful pasta dish that I will be making again—whether it is midnight or not!

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