Image: Shay Solanki
Image: Shay Solanki

Simple three-step pasta

This is an easy three-step pasta I love to make on those busy days. After a long day or in between lectures, I genuinely crave a warm meal to satisfy me or keep me going. Although the exact spices aren’t listed, I tend to centre my palate around Indian spices, as I grew up with these flavours. I wouldn’t exactly call this ‘fusion food’, but traditional Italian cuisine certainly steers away from chilli. At the end of the day, we all eat food we like. So, when cooking a warm bowl of thick pasta, ensure you are using flavours you actually enjoy. Italians will probably disapprove of this dish, sadly.

Although this recipe is rather short, it is incredibly easy and simple. A lot of recipes tend to be overcomplicated and full of inaccessible ingredients so hopefully, this will be easier to follow and make. So here is my spin on a simple pasta dish that will certainly fill you up.

Ingredients: 

2 tomatoes

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 inch of ginger

1 red pepper

Tomato puree

Heavy cream

Pasta or spaghetti

Red chilli or scotch bonnet 

Spices and herbs of your choice

A note on the ingredients:

I prefer red onions over white onions, perhaps it’s because this is generally what my family uses. The flavour and colour of red onions are far richer than the white version, and I personally believe it holds flavour better. Ginger and chilli are also foreign to European cuisine, but my inclusion of this is also an influence from my own Indian cuisine – therefore it is definitely not necessary in this recipe.

In terms of vegan adaptations, the only thing you may need to substitute is the heavy cream. There is plenty of vegan or dairy-free heavy creams that I personally prefer over regular cream. For those with sensitivities to heavier ingredients like ginger and chilli, I definitely recommend the powder version rather than the potency of the whole food. Switching to powdered spices can alleviate a bit of the pain that could come along with conditions such as IBS.

Instructions:

Step 1: Begin to boil your pasta. Chop the tomatoes and half of the onion, then blend the rest of the ingredients with herbs and spices of your choice – my favourites are chilli powder, cumin, and curry powder. 

Step 2: Fry the other half of the onion in oil and butter with herbs and spices until the onions are brown. When they begin to brown, add a tablespoon of tomato puree, and fry for another 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: When the tomato puree turns to a deep red, add the blended tomato mix. Once this begins to simmer, add 100-200ml of cream to create a sauce. If the texture is too thick, thin it with pasta water little by little until you create your desired texture. Add your pasta and mix well, then enjoy.

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