Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Holy Trinity Pasta Sauce

I use the term holy trinity here, but really I am referring to my personally three favourite and absolutely necessary ingredients for any delicious pasta. These are – garlic, red onion and chilli. There are no two ways about it for me, as long as I have these three ingredients; I am off to a very good start.

The pasta sauce recipe that I am about to provide, is again, very versatile. I change the recipe nearly every time I make it according to what I have in the fridge – or should I say, mum and dad’s fridge. I have never gone out to purchase anything for this pasta, which is what I love about it. It is all according to taste and your own personal taste, and that is a very important element to enjoying cooking.

Ingredients –

  • Garlic.
  • Chilli and/or dried chilli flakes.
  • Red onion.
  • Olive oil.
  • Tinned tomatoes (crushed, diced, whole, with garlic and herbs – whatever! You may also need more than one tin if making a large batch of pasta sauce)
  • Red wine.
  • Tsp of sugar.
  • Any other extras that you like – olives, capers, artichokes, semi dried tomatoes, “fresh” tomatoes (this is a particularly good way of using up tomatoes that have almost had it)
  • Dried oregano.
  • Fresh basil (delicious but you can do without)
  • Fresh spinach (delicious but you can do without)

Method –

  1. In a large frying pan, drizzle some olive oil and top with chopped garlic and onion and fresh chilli (if using chilli flakes instead, add these in a bit later).
  2. Fry these on a low-medium heat until soft and translucent.
  3. Add in fresh tomatoes if you choose, but most importantly add in a tin of tomatoes and stir around. Also at this stage, add a teaspoon of sugar, this helps to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes.
  4. Let this mixture bubble away and while doing so; pour in a glug (or a bit more…) of any red wine you like. My rule is that its important to cook with wine that you would also drink, there is no point using a cheap wine that tastes horrible in cooking, as it will still taste bad in the food!
  5. Allow the wine to simmer and stir it through so it cooks into the sauce.
  6. Add any other extras you like as stated in the ingredients. At this stage I would also add some water, simply fill up the tinned tomatoes can with water and pour this in and allow it to cook and the sauce to thicken again.
  7. Add dried oregano and chilli flakes and any other dried herbs that you like, and stir through.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. At this final stage I would also add in fresh basil and spinach and stir it through.
  10. When cooked to your liking, stir through some freshly cooked pasta and serve!   

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