Friday night pasta

Pasta is my death row meal (a long with a good glass **bottle** of red) It is my favourite food and I love making new sauces / using different variations of pasta. My mum used to make spag bol on a friday night. We would eat it in our Pjs with garlic bread and salad.  Pasta shouldn’t have the bad rep it has either. When you make the sauce yourself it isn’t all that bad. It also tastes ten times better when you make the pasta yourself.. but that’s for another time. 

Ingredients

  • PASTA – You want pasta shells that are big. Big shells hold the sauce beautifully. Use pasta like Rigatoni or Conchiglioni. You will need about 3/4 of a packet. 
  • 1 aubergine – diced 
  • 1 red pepper – cut into strips 
  • 1 bag of spinach – shredded 
  • 5 tablespoons of de stoned black olives (some sliced in half some kept whole) 
  • 2 tablespoons of capers 
  • 1 medium white or yellow  onion – finely sliced  
  • 7 cherry tomatoes kept whole 
  • 1 tin of chopped or plum tomatoes 
  •  Pinch of chilli flakes 
  • 3 large garlic cloves. Minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Large handful of chopped fresh basil 
  • Large handful of chopped parsley (plus extra for serving) 
  • Parmesan / vegan parm to serve
  • Olive oil for cooking 
  • * Save a mug of the starchy pasta water when you drain the pasta 

Directions

  1. In a Large heavy based pan heat about a table-spoon of oil on a medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until soft. Add in the garlic, chilli, capers, olives, aubergine and sliced pepper. Stir and cook for about 10 minuets. Tip in the tomatoes, basil and parsley and cook for another ten minuets. The tomatoes will begin to burst, but don’t mush them. 
  2. Open your tinned tomatoes and empty into the van with the rest of the veg. Give it a good stir and cook for another 5 minuets or so. If using plum tomatoes break them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add a little water if you feel the sauce needs this. Add After 5 minuets or so tip in the spinach and cook for about 10 – 15  minuets. The sauce will begin to thicken and will smell delicious! 
  3. Meanwhile boil the kettle. When boiled pour the water into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. You’ll need enough water so that pasta is fully covered and is able to ‘breath’. Add a pinch of salt to the water and then carefully tip in the pasta. Stir the contents and cook according to the packet. When the pasta is cooked drain and set aside but make sure you save a cup of the water the pasta has been cooked in. 
  4. Bit by bit add about 5 table spoons of the pasta water to the sauce. Stir after each bit. By adding the starchy water you will help the sauce cling to the pasta when you are eating it. Trust me when i say don’t skip this part. Tip the cooked pasta into the sauce pan and genteelly bring the pasta and sauce together. When the pasta is coated serve immediately with extra parsley and parmesan (or vegan equivalent) 

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