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I started this series of Things You May Never Need To Buy Again ages ago, here, here and here, but I’ve decided that no one will be able to find them. So I’m redoing them as separate posts and will do lots more of the topics I found for the series too. I’m also going through and setting up categories so things are easier to find
This first one is something that inexperienced cooks may struggle with, a simple pasta sauce.
A basic pasta sauce is extremely easy to make. Sauté a chopped onion in a splash of oil until soft, add some garlic if you like, from a tube may be best, especially if you are unused to cooking. Tip in a tin of value tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for ten minutes or so and taste. You may need half a tsp of sugar depending on the acidity of the tomatoes. If you like a smooth sauce, blitz it with a stick blender. If you have any fresh basil, tear in a few leaves now. Cost – about 35p, much cheaper than anything you can buy, and much tastier too. Serves 2 to 3. Use fresh tomatoes when available for an even tastier version.
Cook your pasta and stir your sauce through the drained pasta in the saucepan before tipping it into serving dishe(s) for the Italian way of serving. Grate or flake over a little Parmesan, grana padano (the cheaper version of Parmesan) or use cheddar which works fine, especially if extra mature.
Customise it by adding other things to it. Stir through some of my favourite ingredient, value soft cheese, for a version that tastes remarkably like mascarpone. Fry off a few mushrooms and stir through. Top your dressed pasta with some toasted pine nuts or raw peanuts that have been gently fried.
This is a basic pasta sauce. Many, many different things can be used to make a pasta sauce. For instance, flake some value smoked mackerel and mix with value cream cheese and use as a pasta sauce. Zest in some lemon skin if you have any. Or, roast some root vegetables in oil and garlic. Blitz to a smooth paste, mix with cream or cream cheese and stir through pasta.
Here are some more possibilities from the archives, Mango, Coconut and Feta – a Sardine and Tomato Sauce – Spring Green Pasta Sauce with Parmesan – or Creamy Walnut. Or enter ‘pasta’ in the search box, and every post that mentions pasta will be shown