Merry Christmas everybody!
We have been hiking in New Zealand for the two weeks, so I am tanned and strong. A little pudgy perhaps, from being fed by Ryans' relatives, and our wonderful hiking guides.
Anyway, VeggieLove put a comment on my last post about simple pasta recipes. Thanks for the comment! I appreciate them all, but I especially enjoy the ones that lead to conversation.
For me, simple pasta goes something like this:
Put the water on to boil.
Get out the small frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and let it heat gently.
Chop up some onion and garlic.
Throw it all in the frying pan, and stir until the onion is soft.
Add a tin of diced tomatoes, and a tablespoon of tomato paste.
Add a teaspoon of stock powder, and about a third of a cup of water.
If I'm adding dried herbs, I'd add them now. (basil and oregano, usually)
Let it simmer for a bit. (Usually the water has boiled by now, and the pasta is cooking)
If I'm adding fresh basil, I'd stir it through once I've taken the sauce off the heat.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, serve with the sauce, and fresh grated parmesan.
That's it, but the options are pretty open. You could add any chopped vegetables with the onion. Ham, bacon or salami can also go in then. For more depth of flavour for vegetarians, you could rehydrate some shitake mushrooms, and add both the water and the mushrooms (finely chopped). You can play with different herbs (coriander or rosemary are nice for a change) or different sorts of stock. If you have cooked chicken, you can shred it, and add it while the sauce is simmering. And toasted pine nuts are a fancy kick if you have some.
I think most good pasta recipes are simple. One or two strong flavours, plus some nice cheese, and everyone's happy.