As easy as ABC

Are you the type of person that burns a boiled egg? Then have no fear, you are in good company.

As easy as ABC

As easy as ABC

Mrs Sensible decided that today was my cookday and I was to cook spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. My cookday? “It is easy” she said, “there are only 4 ingredients. Olive oil, garlic, chilli peppers and spaghetti”. This is fine, but I cook bacon, eggs, mushrooms and fried bread, that is when I have supplies of Bacon from the UK in the freezer. I don’t do Italian, even my Sicilian aunty turned her nose up at my tuna and pasta spaghetti concoction, and she loves me to bits, plus I laced it with wine. 

“Okay” I said to Mrs Sensible, “how do I cook it?” “Pan fry a little garlic in the small frying pan and a little chilli pepper. While you are doing this, cook some spaghetti when it is done add the spaghetti to the frying pan add a bit of water from the spaghetti, fry until it is done and serve.” she said as she watched her latest Inspector Morse DVD.

Easy peesy lemon squeezie!! What could go wrong?


I know that before putting any ingredient into a pan, it is important to open a bottle of wine. I chose a fine bottle of Sovrana from the cantina of Marco Bellero.


Sovrana by Marco Bellero

“How much spaghetti?”

“200 grams”

How much oil should I use?

Enough to cover the pan bottom, don’t burn the garlic !!

Uh huh!

Where is the spaghetti?

Bottom cupboard.

No it is not.

yes it is, I will come and get it for you.


The Spaghetti is here and you have burnt the garlic!!

Do I bin it?

Deep sigh, “Yes start again”.

So I started again, I fried a little garlic in a bit of olive oil and started to boil the spaghetti. When I thought the spaghetti was cooked, I wandered into the lounge with a bit of spaghetti hanging from a fork. Just as I waved it under  Mrs Sensible’s nose and said “Is this cooked? Inspector Morse shouted “You have killed her, you were his doctor”

“No” she said.

So I wandered back into the kitchen. The garlic looked a little too brown so I took it off the flame.

Mrs Sensible shouted from the lounge “Have you grated the cheese for the spaghetti”

Erh! No

So she came in to rescue me and the spaghetti.

As she chased the garlic around the pan she said “I have never seen garlic so well-burnt”

“Uh huh” I replied

She threw the spaghetti into the frying pan, added some water, fried it and served it into two plates.

What can I say… the wine was very good, however Mrs Sensible declared that she had eaten better pasta.

So here is the recipe if you want to try your hand.

Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino

Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli pepper (and a glass of wine)


Allegedly very easy

Preparation time

2 minutes

Cooking time

15 minutes



200 grams of spaghetti
1 small red chilli pepper – seeded & chopped
2 medium cloves of fresh garlic (squashed but unpeeled)
2 -3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to season the pasta and to throw over your left shoulder for good luck.

1 bottle of good wine to drink while you cook.

Specialist Equipment

A large frying pan

A deep pan

Sharp knife

A good cook

A glass for the wine

How to cook:

1) Discard the seeds from the chilli pepper and chop the pepper into small pieces.

2) Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions and season with salt. If there are no instructions, E mail Mrs Sensible.

3) In a shallow pan, place 4 tbsp of olive oil and heat until hot, then add the garlic and chilli pepper. Cook over a low to medium heat until the garlic starts to turn golden (do not allow to burn)

4) When the pasta is ready, drain & transfer pasta into the shallow pan with the oil, garlic and chilli. Toss together and allow to heat through for approx 2-4 minutes. Serve immediately.

If you try this and it works, let me know. If you try this and you fail, please do not feel bad it is a very difficult dish.

43 thoughts on “As easy as ABC

  1. fabulous recipe, I will try it out. I think that caramelised garlic gives extra flavour to a dish (please inform Mrs Sensible that this is the correct term when garlic or onions go to the Dark Side). Lucky Mrs Sensible to be able to watch telly whilst someone else makes dinner. I wouldn’t complain 🙂


  2. I giggled, I laughed, I cried with laughter, well I chuckled. This is too funny. And you are good. Food Network should hire you. If you had a show it would be the best on American TV. And the receipe would be hard for anyone, even people with an uncommon amount of common sense. 🙂


    • I find cooking is a great way of drinking some fab wine, it is just a shame this attempt went so badly wrong. I cook a mean sheperds pie 🙂

      get J to have a go at the recipe, Mrs Sensible says it is easy and I have to say when I watch her cook it, it does look easy.


  3. This is great… you crack me up! Will definitely be trying that recipe out this weekend when my daughter comes to stay (she’ll like the chilli whereas my sons won’t be too keen, she’ll also be able to join me with the wine part of the ingredients!) will let you know how it turns out! Getting the garlic just right is always the dodgy bit… love MM’s comment about anything that goes to the dark side as being ‘caramelised’ brilliant! 🙂


  4. At our house, hubs does all the cooking. It’s much better for everyone that way. I love the prep work, the chopping and squashing (maybe because it involves sharp instruments) but I simply cannot be bothered to cook it up into any semblance of anything edible.


  5. You are so funny, I enjoy your writing. And I’m going to try your (Mrs. Sensible’s) recipe the next time multiple children and spouses drop in unexpectedly for dinner. It will be a great side-dish to stretch the main dish for all the additional mouths.


    • I am so pleased that you enjoy my blog 🙂 and you should try the recipe because if you get it right it is wonderful. Mrs Sensible and I have spent the past 3 days creating and typing up 14 recipes to follow each chapter of my little book, so only another 16 to go.

      One of the nice fellow bloggers said it was a good idea, so we shouted to the publisher “hold the press” we need to make some alterations..


  6. buoni buoni, buonissimi!! Mrs Sensible hasn’t yet given you a teaching lesson about the DIFFERENT types of spaghetti? Barilla n. 2, n. 5, ecc ecc, all the different thickness? next cooking lesson please, it’s so funny! but I would never leave you alone in the kitchen…


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