So recently I moved out to sunny Gibraltar. While I’m looking for a more permanent apartment, I’m staying in a Student Accommodation for the first time in my life. My little studio flat has a tiny wee kitchen with two hobs and came with two pans. No oven. Everyone who knows me will testify to the fact that I’m a ‘messy chef’ and usually use a crazy amount of pans, utensils, and what not. I’ve had to downscale A LOT and change my cooking quite a lot too. I’ve not had to cook for one for a long period of time, ever… so I’m learning and I’m trying to have a bit of fun in the kitchen too. It’s liberating having to just satisfy yourself and not worry about others so I’m diving into this. I’ve been looking up recipes and playing around with them, modifying them to suit what I have available and make sure the quantities are for 1 or 2 people max. It’s great to have leftovers but I can’t have too many leftovers due to lack of space. It’s a constant game of balance.

I found this recipe in a Guardian’s Feast magazine which I brought with me. Aglio, olio e peperoncino is one of my favourite pasta dishes in general. It’s super simple – some good quality olive oil, garlic, chilli and that’s pretty much it! But I love this version which also has a good bunch of greens and lemon juice. It’s a perfect easy dinner for one! I modified Anna Jones’ recipe a little bit and used stuff I had handy already – penne instead of spaghetti; broccoli and spinach instead of leafy greens, and no lemon zest.

More recipes for one: Kimchi omelette sandwich | Apple, Pear and Turmeric Smoothie

Aglio, olio e peperoncino with greens

Serves 1 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 15 mins
Easy | Vegetarian

You’ll need

  • 100g dried pasta;
  • Extra-virgin olive oil;
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced;
  • ½-1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped;
  • 1 handful broccoli florets, separated in small chunks;
  • 1 handful spinach, washed;
  • ½ lemon;
  • Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative). 

Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions – around eight minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli, and fry for a minute or so, until the garlic is starting to turn golden at the edges.

Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for three to four minutes, or until the broccoli are cooked but still crunchy. Add the spinach and cook for a further minute until wilted.

Drain the pasta, keeping some of the cooking water, then put the pasta with the greens with a splash of the water. Squeeze over the juice of about a quarter of the lemon, and serve topped with a drizzle of oil and a plenty of finely grated parmesan.

Original recipe by Anna Jones the Guardian’s Feast, available online here.