Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
This is my own take on the classic Italian pasta dish, spaghetti al pomodoro, which is basically spaghetti with a simple but tasty tomato-based sauce. I have enriched the sauce more for my version here, to make it even more flavourful. It’s just a question of simmering the sauce for a while, to really bring out the flavours, and then it is divine. You can use either fresh or dried basil for the sauce, but I think fresh is particularly good. This is a great dish for when you want something quick to put together, and which can usually be made with ingredients which you should already have in your kitchen. Perfect!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
12 oz spaghetti or linguine (or you can also use another type of strand pasta like tagliatelle or pappardelle. Tagliatelle would probably work really well here actually)
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
A 28-oz can of tomatoes (or 2-3 large fresh tomatoes, e.g. beefsteak tomatoes, or around 12 cherry tomatoes), finely chopped, with juice
1-2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Half of a lemon
1-2 glugs of red wine (or red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar)
Half of a teaspoon of chilli flakes or red pepper flakes
2-3 sprigs of fresh basil, chopped (or 1-2 teaspoon of dried basil, or oregano)
Half a teaspoon of salt
Shakes of black and white pepper, to taste
1) Heat the olive oil gently in a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and cook gently until softened, around 10 minutes.
2) Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes over a low heat, taking care not to burn it.
3) Add the chili or pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute more.
4) Increase the heat, add the tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, pepper, red wine or vinegar, and a couple of good squirts of lemon juice (lemon really helps to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes - a helpful hint for other dishes, too!) Add about a tablespoon of water, and cook, with the lid on the pan, over a low to medium heat, for around 20 minutes.
5) While sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in salted water in a separate pan, according to package instructions, until just tender.
6) Around 5 minutes before the end of the sauce cooking time, add the fresh or dried basil. Check the consistency - it should be a fairly liquidy sauce, so if it is a bit dry, add a little more water, and continue to simmer. Drain the pasta when done, and mix in the sauce, stir around until the pasta strands are evenly coated.
7) Serve with some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast on top if desired, and an extra grind of black pepper.
Picture courtesy of www.tripadvisor.com