Here is my stand-by cheap, store cupboard oh-blimey-4-chaps-have-invited-themselves-to-dinner / emergency date / comfort food recipe.
All you really need is onion, tin of tomatoes and pasta but it can be dressed up or down how ever you like
Serves 2ish but I often make enough for just 1, cook more or less pasta depending how hungry you are.
For 4 boys + me I use a whole onion and two tins of tomatoes + had some crusty bread to mop it up with.
1. Fry half an onion in oil + butter if you feel like it. Spring onions also work
2. Add crushed clove garlic once the onion has got going
3. Put the pasta on – Penne works very well, cook till just a tad under-done
4. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes to the onions and garlic, stir and bubble
5. Add a chopped chilli / dried chilli flakes at this point if you want
6. Let the sauce reduce down a bit – this is very much a seat-of-your-pants recipe, go with the flow
7. Open a bottle of wine – red or white, what ever you fancy and have handy – have a glass whilst the sauce is reducing, keep an eye on the pasta, now is not the moment for a phone call.
8. Stir cream into the tomato sauce – single, double, half-fat creme fresh, phili, phili with chives, clotted cream, fromage fresh also work (this is a store cupboard / what ever is in the fridge recipe!). You can do this whole recipe without cream at all – just add a bit more butter to start with.
9. Lots of black pepper if that’s what floats your boat. Bubble the sauce – yes! I just said BOIL and CREAM in the same sentence, no I’m not crazy, yes this works.
10. Drain the pasta, get out your plates, have another glass of wine, summon your co-diners!
11. Optional Decadent move – put hot pasta back in the still-warm pan it was cooked in, add a generous knob of butter and stir in.
12. Do you still have any wine left in the bottle? Add half a glass to the hot, buttery pasta and stir well – not tried this with rose wine yet but both red and white work. A good shot of vodka is also recommended by some of the lab-rats.
13. Stir sauce into pasta in the pasta pan, pile onto plates, possible some fresh parsley or basil on top if you have it, more freshly ground black pepper.
14. Have another glass of wine and enjoy.
Please do cook this recipe, try it, love it, adapt it, share it, retweet it, criticise is, prove to me it’s great, prove to me it’s rubbish – but just cook! Feed yourself, feed your soul, feed your friends and family, sit around a table, talk, eat, live, love, for this is the purpose of life.
For some reason I don’t have a picture of this recipe, so here is one of a plastic cow and a plastic pig standing on half-kumquats instead.