Cooking is a task that is often stereotypically portrayed as a woman’s job. It has always been the woman’s role to do most of the cooking and make sure the family is well fed; however being able to cook is a fundamental skill that every man should have at least a basic grasp of.

Sure you can eat take out, but you never quite know what kind of additives, oils, sweeteners or other unhealthy stuff might be going into your food. If you have serious fitness goals (which you should), then you need to be able to feed yourself.

Traditionally men have always been involved in food preparation, from hunting to butchery as well as cooking and baking. While you shouldn’t expect to become a master in a short space of time, we have got this easy recipe for men who can’t cook.

Penne Arabiatta

Preparation time: Less than 30 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 30 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus an extra dash for cooking the pasta
  • 2 medium hot chilies, finely sliced (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 600 g canned chopped tomato
  • Salt, to taste
  • 400g penne pasta
  • Parmesan shavings (or similar vegetarian hard cheese), to serve.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chili (optional) and garlic to the pan. After about a minute, add the basil leaves and gently wilt them in the flavored oil.
  2. Remove the garlic, basil and chili from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped tomatoes to the frying pan and cook for two minutes on a low
  3. Put the garlic, basil and chili back in the pan with the tomatoes. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little. Add salt to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as per the package instructions in large saucepan of boiling, salted water with a dash of olive oil. Drain the pasta and add the tomato sauce to it. Serve with shavings of Parmesan.