Pasta gets a bad wrap, its seen as an unhealthy and 'bad' food, I'm here to argue that its not. It's how you prepare your food. Pasta has a place in your weekly routine as an easy and filling meal. Especially if you buy whole grain pasta and make a sauce yourself that is low in sodium, high in veggies with a lean protein. We eat GF pasta as i'm coeliac, other options are pastas made out of pulses.
The basics of making a pasta sauce base.
This is my base, I use a non stick deep pan (enough room for the pasta to go in at the end). Using fibrous veggies (onion/red onion/tomato) and veg with high water content (zucchini/tomato) there is no need to add extra water. Dicing the onion and zucchini allows them to break down quickly.
The aforementioned veggies break down over a medium heat and create a beautiful sauce, you can then add more veggies, try adding greens such as spinach. Or you can roast some pumpkin or potato for a chunkier veggie pasta.
This recipe makes enough for two (well us two, bare in mind we both exercise a lot, so our kJ intake matches what we need to sustain our lifestyle).
- 3 medium vine ripened tomatoes (cut in half or quarters)
- half red onion (diced)
- half a large zuccini (diced)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100g spinach
- 1 pack of spaghetti (I used GF)
- Raw prawns (optional) or cooked depending on what your local has.
- 2 chillies
- Salt and Pepper
- Prepare your pots and pans, fill a large saucepan to 3/4 and salt for the pasta, have it ready to go (put on a low heat so it will come to a boil quickly when you need). Add EVOO to your non-stick deep pan.
- dice the garlic, onion, zucchini and chop the chilli, add to the pan and turn the heat up.
- Once the onion and zucchini has started to soften add the tomato, stir and pop on the lid or a plate to allow the steam to stay in the pan. Leave for approx 10 mins, checking half way to make sure it is not burning.
- Add the spinach, replace the lid. While the spinach wilts, turn up the pasta pan to full and bring to boil.
- Add the pasta once water is boiled for required time. Once the pasta is halfway done add a ladle of the pasta water to your sauce, as well as the prawns and allow to simmer with the lid off.
- Drain your pasta once it's ready, reserve some of the water if your sauce has become too dry. Add to the sauce and turn with tongs until well combined.
- Serve with parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.
Once you get used to the timing of when to add the pasta water, this becomes really easy. You can easily play around with this base, adding other ingredients. If cooking with chunky roast veg, you have two options.
Add the veg in with the water and allow to break down OR
Add the veg at the end on top so you maintain that chunky texture.
Double the ingredients for four people.
No pictures of the finished product as I was starving