Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spaghetti with chunky tomato, olive and chilli sauce

Hello everyone, I decided last week that I was going to defrost my freezer as it hadn't been done for some time. Of course, this entailed emptying the freezer, so instead of my usual recipe driven approach I chose recipes based on what was there. Two of the highlights were a fabulous chicken and vegetable pie that I made to use up some puff pastry and a gorgeous Spanish style minestrone into which went some chorizo I had picked up on my Spanish Safari a few weeks ago. So now I have a clean, ice-free, empty freezer. This week I'm going to fill it up with three different kinds of soup which will provide lunches for weeks and a great Moroccan style chicken dish that I love. It's so good having ready cooked food in the freezer, especially with winter coming on!

Now this week's recipe is for an absolutely luscious pasta sauce from Belinda Jeffery's Tried-And-True Recipes and I can tell you that when I made it I wished that I had done at least the full quantity so I could store some in the freezer to enjoy later. As it's a chunky style sauce you'll find it's really substantial and probably only needs some good bread to be served with it. I know it looks like a long list of ingredients but really once you have chopped the vegetables you are half way there.

Have a lovely week. Love from Jane xx

Spaghetti with chunky tomato, olive and chilli sauce

Serves four

What you need:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized carrots, cut into smallish dice
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small red chilllies (seeds and all), finely chopped (use your judgement - I used half this quantity and it was just right for me)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste or sun dried tomato pesto
  • 800g can diced tomatoes
  • A big pinch of sugar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 150g pitted olives (use whatever olives you like, I love green olives so I used them and they were sensational)
  • Large handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 4 scoops of fresh ricotta
  • Finely grated Parmesan, to serve

What you do:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat.
  2. Tip in the onions and carrots and cook them, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and chilli and stir again, cooking for a further two to three minutes.
  4. Mix in the tomato paste or pesto, and cook, stirring, for one minute until fragrant.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice and sprinkle on the sugar, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring the sauce to the boil, then turn down the heat to low and leave to bubble away gently for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is quite thick.
  7. Cook the pasta while the sauce is cooking.
  8. Just before the pasta is ready, add the olives and basil to the sauce.
  9. Drain the pasta and stir it into the sauce, mixing well so that all the strands are coated.
  10. To serve, add a scoop of ricotta to each pasta bowl, and pour the spaghetti with sauce on top. Serve with the Parmesan.