I have been terribly busy this past week. I am late on my post. The tasks and chores hit me like a wave and I was left quite exhausted. That’s when I decided to turn to an easy, quick, meal idea because we always need one in an emergency like this.
Quick, Homemade Sauce
From the days I had to cook for two while attending law school, to the period in my life when I had small children, to the times in my life when work was just so very overwhelming I had to think quick and tasty meals.
The clock was ticking from the moment I walked through the door, at the end of a long day. If I had to cook that day, I decided on pasta.I turned to pasta as the quick-meal solution. I wasn’t ever just cooking for one, so pasta hit the spot with everyone.
I can’t endure store-bought pasta sauces for two reasons. First, they can be flavorless with a sugary base. Secondly, the really delicious sauces are overpriced.
Here, I present a recipe with a sauce that is truly quick and easy when you have very little time.
The bonus is that this meal truly can be a pantry-staple recipe.
So the next time you don’t have time to stop by the supermarket, turn to your pantry for this delicious, life-saver of a meal. Just add salad or bread to complete the meal.
Rich Tomato, Mushroom and Olive Pasta
A rich vegetable tomato-based pasta sauce with mushrooms and olives
- 3-3½ tablespoons olive oil
- 8 anchovy fillets
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely sliced or chopped)
- 1-1¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if feeding children or spice averse)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 14 ounces can diced tomatoes
- 1 ¼ cups drained weight pitted black olives (chopped)
- 3 teaspoons chopped dried parsley (to serve – optional)
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- 8 ounces can mushrooms (chopped into pieces)
Put water for the pasta on to boil.
Pour the oil into a very large, deep frying pan. This pan should be able to contain a large amount of pasta sauce and pasta. The sauce and pasta are combined in the pan at the end. Heat gently.
Add the anchovies and cook for a minute or so, pressing the anchovies into the oil with a non-metal spatula and gently stirring the fish bits until they have almost melded into the oil.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry on low heat for about 3-5 minutes.
Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook, stirring, for another minute. If desperate and you don't have fresh garlic, add garlic powder instead.
This is the stage at which you will be salting the boiling pasta water and adding the spaghetti to cook according to packet instructions.
Then, go back to the sauce, add the tomatoes and olives and simmer fairly gently for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, by which time it will have thickened slightly. Taste for seasoning.
Just before the pasta is ready, remove a cup of cooking water, and reserve it.
If you're using a deep frying pan or similar, you can lift the spaghetti straight into the sauce with tongs or spaghetti claw.
Mix the drained spaghetti and sauce together, adding a little reserved pasta water, as needed. Scatter with dried parsley and serve.