Make A Pasta Dish To Suit Any Mood

Whenever I’m feeling extremely hungry, am having a bit of a crappy day or, for that matter, a really great day, I always turn to my fool-proof pasta dish. It is one that I discovered at uni, by browsing the internet and the BBC Food website and collaborating and tweaking lots of different recipes I found there. It’s so simple, so quick and so tasty. It reminds me of summer because of it’s bright red tomato-y deliciousness and if I close my eyes I almost feel like I could be eating it on a pretty street in Rome. Mmm delicioso!

All you need is a good handful of penne pasta (or the pasta of your choice), a squeeze of tomato purée, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a dribble of balsamic vinegar, a few drops of tabasco, as much chopped garlic as you desire, half an onion,
some sugar and some salt and pepper. For the topping, have at the ready your favourite cheese (mine is feta, and I think this goes best) and even some parmesan if you want to be really decadent.

The sauce takes about 15-20 minutes…about the same time as your pasta, if a little bit longer, so pop your pasta on right at the start and just keep it at a low-medium temperature and keep your eye on it.

Gently heat up some olive oil and when it’s at a medium temperature, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to turn ever so slightly brown. Now add the onion and fry until soft and golden.

Once you feel that the onion and garlic have fried nicely, pour into the pan your chopped tomatoes and let them simmer gently for about 5-8 minutes.

Then add a good squeeze of tomato purée. A tip I learnt somewhere was that you cant just bung in your purée with everything else. You must let it cook for a good 4-5 minutes to release all of its flavour before loading in more ingredients into the pan. So, stir in the purée gently and leave to fuse for 5 minutes.

At this point, drizzle some balsamic vinegar into the sauce and then a few drops of Tabasco.

Have a taste – at this point I like to add about a teaspoon of sugar and lots of salt and black pepper.

Your pasta sauce should be ready! Drain your pasta and spoon the sauce over the pasta either in the pan or into a bowl.

Break off lots of little bits of feta/mozzarella/goats cheese and sprinkle over the pasta. Top off with some parmesan and a little bit of basil if you happen to have any.

Bon Appetit!