For days that require soothing, nourishment and comfort (and I have many of those days!), I like to come home to no fuss, no nonsense cooking. After a gruelling day of sitting in front of the computer, fine reading between lines, editing grammar and researching the science behind food, I really am just hungry for good, easy food and something that is so delicious that it will take my mind off the short cut to picking up the phone ordering home delivery.

This is one of the easiest answers I am going to share with you – a recipe every student, home cook, loner, and young (and old) couple must have – a one pot pasta dish. A pasta cooked with the sauce and it all comes together like beautiful poetry, perfectly balanced with a very happy ending, all within 30 minutes!

Start by frying the garlic in butter and olive oil together in a medium-sized pot. I add both fats, as the butter is necessary for good flavour, and the olive oil prevents the butter from burning. Butter tends to require less heat, and the olive oil simply elongates its heat withstanding power. Also… FLAVOUR!

Then pour all that milk into the pot, followed by pasta and let the pasta cook in the milk, on medium flame. Don’t let the milk over boil and curdle. Let it slow cook and stir occasionally. In the meantime have your cheese grater ready.

If the pasta seems to absorb too much of the milk and has remained uncooked, add some more milk and let it cook. This recipe is more from the eye (and heart) than science!

Once the pasta has cooked through, stir in the salt, nutmeg, cheese and mustard. Let it cook for 5-10 more minutes until the cheese melts and creates a nice sauce that clings just perfectly to the macaroni. If required, add some more milk to create a thicker sauce if you so desire.

On a health note: no cream, good ol’ milk only, with lashings of cheese, carbohydrate pasta, and… umm… okay, there’s no health note!

Enjoy with a bit of hot sauce ( I love Cholula) and a glass of red wine.

The Recipe
Serves 1


  • 1/2 cup macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp grainy English mustard
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper


  • Heat the butter, olive oil and garlic on medium heat. Allow the garlic to fry and wait for the strong aroma.
  • Add the macaroni and give it a stir in the garlic butter.
  • Add the milk and let the macaroni cook in the milk, stirring occasionally. Do not cover the pot. This should take around 15 minutes on low heat.
  • Once the pasta has cooked al dente, stir in the salt, mustard, nutmeg, black pepper and cheese.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes before transferring into your serving bowl.
  • Enjoy.

Up Next

The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.