This is one the most basic sauces in the Italian repertoire, but when done properly, it is a little masterpiece. You can replace the parsley with basil, or use some of each.
• 400g spaghetti
• 200ml extra virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 red chilli, finely chopped
• A large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.
• Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, and fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to spread the flavour through the oil. Add 2 tbsp cooking water to the pan and stir in the chilli and parsley. Season with salt and cook for 3 minutes, mixing occasionally.
• When the spaghetti is ready, drain it quickly so it is still rather wet and add it to the sauce. Gently toss to coat, then leave for a minute over a low heat before serving on hot plates.