Traditional Pasta Al Pomodoro is very basic with not more than 6 ingredients, but I wanted to make it a little more flavourful and here is my twist! Well, it’s not spicy at all, but it’s got a an inviting flavour which makes it an interesting lunch or dinner option. And even though the ingredient list looks like a lot, trust me it’s so so easy, I’ve even made this under 15 minutes. It’s a good change from regular home cooked food and I’d choose this over any restaurant spaghetti!
I normally make the tomato sauce a few hours in advance and right before our meal time, I cook the noodles and reheat the sauce and mix it all up before serving. This way you get to eat it hot and also the noodles don’t get clumpy or dry out. You can also just pour the sauce over the cooked Spaghetti, but we like it pre-mixed. So let’s get started 🙂
200 Grams Spaghetti Pasta Noodles
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
10-15 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Green Chilli, chopped
5 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
200 Ml Tomato Purée
1 Tbsp Dry Oregano Herbs
1 Tsp Chilli Flakes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 Fresh Basil Leaves (Optional)
Grated Cheese (Optional/Skip for Vegan)
Chopped Almonds (Optional)
Salt to taste
Water (if required)
- Hoping that you’ve read the short description above the ingredients list, let’s get started!
- If you are going to serve this immediately, you can set a pot to boil water for the Spaghetti, seasoned with a little salt and a few drops of oil.
- Add in the Spaghetti noodles whole (preferably) and let it sink in the pot and spread around with the help of a spatula, eventually submerging the noodles completely in water. Reduce the flame, and let this boil and cook al dente, while stirring once in a while. Start this whole process midway while preparing the sauce so you don’t overcook the noodles. The noodles need to be firm when bitten and not melt in your mouth.
- So let’s see how to make the sauce now.
- In a large wide or deep pan, heat some Olive Oil.
- Add in chopped peeled Garlic cloves. The main flavour comes from garlic, so don’t use any less and don’t even think of skipping this ingredient. It’s always more the better in this case. Let them brown a little and you’ll know by the aroma of garlic in hot oil, how gorgeous this pasta is going to turn out.
- Add in the chopped Green Chilli. Fry for a few seconds.
- Now in goes roughly chopped tomatoes. We don’t want to puree them and need chunky bits. So don’t take the effort to finely chop them. Again more tomatoes, more saucy, much more flavourful.
- In any recipe, right after I add in Tomatoes, I love to add salt. This just softens them almost instantly and cooks them faster and in no time, you’ll see mushy tomatoes.
- To make it more saucy, I add in a whole 200 ml tetra pack of Tomato Puree. I prefer the store bought ones because they are deeper in colour and much more dense because they make it with more tomatoes. Of course always choose one with no artificial colour, flavour and preservatives.
- Cook this very well for a few more minutes until everything looks well blended and aromatic.
- Now add the seasonings – Dry Oregano Herbs & Chilli Flakes as per your taste. Give this a good mix.
- If you feel the sauce is too thick, add a little water and cook for another minute. They need to coat the pasta well. So adjust consistency accordingly.
- Now this is optional, but we like it with a little bit of cheese. Since tomatoes are sour and cheese is milk based, make sure to turn off the flame before adding in grated cheese. You don’t want to curdle your efforts. So gently toss it in. Parmesan is always better, but any plain cheese is okay. I’ve even used sliced cheese when I had nothing! I normally use good ol’ cheddar cheese because that’s always stocked in my fridge. You can make this Vegan & Dairy Free by skipping Cheese altogether.
- Now that you have your spaghetti cooked as well, drain all the water. Don’t drain them and keep because that will dry it out. Let them be in water and drain only before adding to the sauce. I prefer to give it a boil just one last time before draining. Drain and pour the Spaghetti into the sauce. Add chopped Almonds which is optional. Fold and toss it well until all the pasta noodle is covered in red sauce.
- Also check for salt if required and mix well.
- Immediately transfer this to your bowls or serving plates, drizzle some Extra Virgin Oil. Top it with some some extra Cheese, Chilli Flakes, Nuts and/or Basil Leaves for added freshness and eat hot!
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