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15-minute vegan pasta with garlic, chili and capers

Unlike other dishes I posted in the past, this one was made and shot without any planning whatsoever. No brainstorming on recipes, visualizing and sketching the plating or testing the flavor. It was one of those days when my husband couldn’t go to work because whole central business district in Hong Kong was paralyzed due to the protest, and I woke up feeling like making a bunch of things that I wanted him to try. So I made a few things we could snack on here and there, then hit the jackpot. This wholesome vegan pasta was so quick, easy, healthy and beautiful that I had to share it here. And cooking and eating this dish was a distraction that I really needed.

I don’t know if you heard about what has been going on in Hong Kong. Serious protests and violence have been escalating non-stop for months. Although pretty much anyone who lives in the city including myself is used to the situation, I still couldn’t help but feeling sad and worried about my second home. The city where I worked, met my friends and husband whom I’ve built my life with for almost a decade.

I came to Hong Kong alone after graduating from college in London. I had no friends or relatives, only people I knew back then were people I had met during the job interviews. People often told me how brave I was, moving to the city that I hardly knew on my own and some of them very kindly worried about me. I still don’t know why but from the very beginning it somehow felt right. It felt like I could be doing fine here even on my own. And I was right. I did more than fine, in fact the most important part of my life wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the city. But now, I am not so sure. Life goes on as usual on the surface but I have a bad feeling that I might have to prepare for the worst and leave Hong Kong for a reason that I never imagined before. It’s a little hard to be in a good mood with thoughts like that in my head.

Fortunately, there are a few things that still give me joy. And cooking is one of them for sure. Cooking this simple 15-minute pasta and and realizing how unexpectedly good it was made me so happy that all my worries had disappeared even for a moment. I am a firm believer of food being a part of certain memories, and no matter what happens this dish will definitely be a part of many happy food memories I’ve had in Hong Kong.


  • Cook and prep for 15-20mins
  • Serves 2


  • 200g. dried spinach linguine
  • 2 1/2 – 3 tbsp. capers
  • 4 cloves. garlic
  • 1-2 chilis
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. regular olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to season
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


Start boiling salted water in a pot.

Slice garlic and chilis and set aside.

Add pasta in a boiling water, and cook for 7-8 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan and cook capers for 2-3 minutes over gentle heat.

Add sliced garlic and chilis and a half tablespoon of oil in a pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes adjusting the heat to make sure the garlic won’t burn.

Add cooked pasta into a pan with a ladleful of starch water from the pot.

Mix everything gently and cook for another minute or two. Season with a little salt (as capers are already quite salty) and generous amount of black pepper.

Serve with torn flat leaf parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!

12 thoughts on “15-minute vegan pasta with garlic, chili and capers

  1. This is yum, love such simple dishes!

    1. Thank you so much!

  2. Sorry to hear about the struggles. Keep leaning on your joy for cooking.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, and yes I will ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I can’t imagine living in all that turmoil. Many, many years ago we lived in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan during the “race” riots and my dad had his rifle near the front door (never knew he had one). My boyfriend at the time was in the 101st airborne and was one of the soldiers patrolling the streets. Scary time…

    Your pasta dish looks refreshing – love the chilies and always garlic. Capers are an interesting addition (for me anyways) ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hope you’ll try and like it ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the peppery tanginess capers bring to a simple dish like this.

      Thanks for sharing your story about Detroit. You were lucky to have someone to protect you in a scary time.

      Have a great week ahead aunt Juju!

  4. Sad to hear the news. Hope things will get better somehow. I also find cooking soothing in troubled times. The pasta looks refreshing and delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Ronit :-). Yes it is sad…things have been slightly calmer over the weekend. Although unlikely, really hope it could stay this way somehow. Times like this reminds me how therapeutic cooking can be.

      1. Lets hope for good news! Happy cooking! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Thank you! You too ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Looks delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Nancy ๐Ÿ™‚

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