Spaghetti with chilli, prawns and garlic

You could be sitting outside a trattoria on a warm, still, summer evening, surrounded by the gentle scent of garlic and herbs, squeezing a juicy bright fresh lemon segment over this spicy, herby, prawn’y spaghetti, without a care in the world other than how to twirl it on to your fork and urge it into your anticipatory taste-bud-tingly, mouth.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Servings: 2
Servings: 2


  • large glug of olive oil
  • dessert spoon of butter
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, also finely chopped
  • splash of dry white wine
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
  • some fresh parsley, oregano and basil, finely chopped
  • teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • heaped teacup of small prawns
  • sea salt
  • fresh lemon
  • 160-200g of spaghetti
  • grated Parmesan cheese to serve


Boil the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted water, you’re cooking it ‘al dente’ to retain some bite.

Meanwhile, in a heavy frying pan heat the olive oil and butter until gently bubbling but not smoking and throw in the onion, chilli and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.

Add a glug of white wine and sizzle it off for a minute before adding the prawns. I used frozen cooked prawns but you can use fresh or frozen. Fry gently for a few minutes until the prawns are properly cooked then add the salt, parsley and oregano before cooking for a minute more. Retain a bit of parsley and oregano for serving.

Drain the spaghetti – but not too much, always retain a bit of the cloudy water, then add it to the frying pan with the heat still on. Combine the prawns and spaghetti using two forks. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over then sprinkle the remaining herbs and a few chilli flakes before serving.

Let people add their own Parmesan at the table.

P.S. I actually added some coarse ground black pepper to serve as well, it was fiery!

Nutrition Info


Prawns are rich in selenium which, with iodine, plays a significant role in healthy thyroid function. They also have a good amount of vitamin B12 to help production of red blood cells.

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Life is a combination of magic and pasta.

Federico Fellini

Portion Guidelines

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