Pasta today and pizza tomorrow
On days when I’m not making a homemade pizza (or ordering one in) but still feel like some home cooking and using elements that make pizza delicious, I usually turn to a tomato pasta recipe. I realise pizza is pizza and pasta is pasta but once you get a great tomato sauce happening, some cheese, olives or anchovies, perhaps some salami in the mix…tomato pasta recipes undeniably have all the great combinations of Italian food flavours that I am clearly addicted to!
Basic tomato pasta recipe
Ingredients – Serves 4
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes or around 600g fresh tomatoes
- Olive oil, salt and pepper, sugar
- Balsamic vinegar
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
- 500g pasta
- Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Put a kettle on to boil and a relatively small amount of water in your biggest pot and bring to the boil. Add the kettle water when it has boiled – this is much faster than trying to boil the whole pot! Cook pasta as instructed in pack and drain well. Meanwhile, if you are using fresh tomatoes, roughly chop them, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and put into 200C oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked, smash them down with fork and drizzle some balsamic vinegar over them to bring out the sweetness. Heat olive oil in pot and add finely chopped garlic. Do not let it burn, watch carefully and just as it starts to take on a bit of colour pop in tinned tomatoes or your roasted tomatoes. Stir well and bring the heat up. If using tinned, taste and add 1 tsp. sugar if needed. Add pasta to sauce, stir well, decant into warmed bowls and top with grated cheese and more seasoning if necessary. With a plain tomato pasta recipe I like spaghetti best and a delicious drink to boot!
Above is a super basic tomato pasta recipe, tasty for sure but it’s so easy to make more interesting. Here are some suggestions on how to bring your tomato pasta recipe to the next level.
- - Top pasta at end with finely chopped parsley after the cheese.
- - Add pitted black olives after the tomatoes have gone in.
- - Shred some basil leaves in just before serving.
- - Put some finely sliced onions in before the garlic and then a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar to caramelise them.
- - Take the skins off good quality sausages and squeeze out little ‘balls’ to make a tomato pasta recipe with meatballs.