I do love to try and experiment with ingredients when it comes to easy pasta meals. When I am feeling a bit unmotivated or I don’t have a lot of time to cook something elaborate, nothing pleases me more than a bowl of pasta. I often make spaghetti dressed with a simple olive oil, garlic, Herbes de Provence, and chilli flakes coating, and top it with fresh, finely grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese to serve. This is a sure fire way to conjure up a super quick meal that will comfort, satisfy and restore. However, sometimes I still want simplicity and speed, but also want a few more ingredients to go into my pasta meal- something more robust, perhaps. This is when I look for ingredients in the cupboard and fridge that might possibly sit together well, and I gather and prep them, before throwing them in the pan and eagerly watching the meal take shape.

AnalaAyurveda. Sonja Shah-Williams. Ayurvedic Medicine practitioner

I recently decided to do exactly this; I had a few ideas in my head about what kind of taste I was looking for, and realised I had all the ingredients I might like to use, and the result was delicious. So, here is my new mediterranean spaghetti; I think you will find it super easy to make, pretty foolproof, and if like me, you usually have the main ingredients hanging around, you’re away!

To serve 2:

Around 120 g spaghetti

A tbsp of olive oil

2 fat cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

A handful of chestnut mushrooms, sliced

A handful of dried porcini mushrooms

A small handful of Italian pitted green olives

A small handful of artichokes in oil , drained and chopped

A handful of sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

A tsp dried chilli flakes

A tbsp sundried tomato pesto

Fresh parmesan cheese to serve

Salt and pepper


Soak the dried mushrooms in a small bowl of hot water for 15 minutes before you start. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling water for the recommended time. Whilst it is cooking, heat the oil on a medium heat in a frying pan that is large enough to hold the spaghetti too, and add the garlic. Let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding the fresh mushrooms. Lift the dried mushrooms out of the soaking water, and give them a good squeeze (retaining the soaking water). Finely chop them before adding them to the frying pan. Give everything a good stir and then add the artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and olives. Again mix everything well, throw in the chilli flakes, season with a little salt and pepper, and stir in the pesto. Cook for a few minutes longer; when the spaghetti is ready, drain it and add it to the frying pan, along with the retained mushroom water. Give everything a good mix so the spaghetti is well coated with the mixture.

Serve in warmed pasta bowls and have the parmesan and grater ready on the table. Adjust seasoning and add more chilli flakes if you fancy extra heat.