A simple dish and perfect for a novice cook or when you just don’t want to pour hours into boiling down sauces. Practically no labour involved at all – just chuck in and cook! Don’t skimp on the herbs because they really make the dish and if at all possible get the freshest vegetables and herbs you can find, as they really make the difference. My daughter adores this dish and you can simply double the pasta if you want a larger quantity as there is plenty of sauce. Perfect for all the family and it’s suitable for vegetarians. Chuck in and tuck in!
(serves 2 – 4)
2 punnets of cherry tomatoes, washed (do not take off skin or deseed, leave them wole)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed (more if you like garlic)
1 large handful fresh basil leaves, washed and roughly chopped
2 flat teaspoons dried oregano
2 flat teaspoons dried parsley
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
Long spaghetti, enough for 2 – 4 people depending
2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil, any other oil will suffice also
1 large tablespoon tomato puree
Small handful button mushrooms, roughly chopped
Start with the spaghetti and cook to manufacturer’s instructions, adding a pinch of salt to the water, this will probably be done cooking as you are going through the rest of the process so remember not to discard the water but rather keep a cup or two of it when draining off.
Add oil to a separate large pan (whilst the pasta is cooking) and on a medium heat add the finely chopped onions, tomatoes and garlic. You don’t want to burn these but want them to have a softer texture so stir reasonably. Some of the tomatoes may pop, the skin will tear, and I like to squash a few down when this starts to happen. Allow to cook for around 15 minutes. Add the dried herbs, mushrooms, and tomato puree with a cup of water from the cooked pasta. Cook for a further 10 minutes and when reduced down to a thicker consistency, stir the basil through and season with salt, and pepper according to your own liking. Add the pasta to the tomato based sauce, stir through, and serve piping hot.
So simple, you can add some cheddar or parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread to make it a real feast!
Extra Hints and Tips
Adding dried herbs early on in the cooking process helps to develop their flavour in the dish, whereas it is better to add fresh herbs later as they tend to have a more subtle flavour.