Sure, you wouldn’t need a recipe for a basic marinara sauce for your bowl of spaghetti. But I wanted to share this anyway because it tasted great. Lots of garlic and good tomatoes make for a simple yet delicious sauce. Fresh basil gives the dish freshness. I added some dried thyme and paprika as well. Tossing the cooked spaghetti in this sauce and topping it with fresh basil and grated cheese turned a dull midweek day lunch into a delicious meal. Bowl-lickable is what I’d call it.
For the longest time, I never peeled my tomatoes to make marinara. I simply chopped them up and cooked them down. This time I did it the way most recipes call for. After blanching them for a minute in hot water, I peeled the skin off and then cooked the tomatoes down. The differences I could see was the colour and texture. It made for a smoother sauce but with a lighter colour. For those days when you want food that feels like a hug, this bowl of pasta does the job.
Spaghetti – 1 portion (a fistful will do), cooked
Tomatoes – 4 medium
Onion – 1 small chopped
Garlic – 3-4 big cloves
Fresh basil leaves – 1 cup loosely packed
Dried thyme – 1 tsp
Paprika – 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – 2 tsp
Cheese – to grate over spaghetti
Salt to taste
Score the tomatoes (run a sharp knife over its skin a couple of times in a cross shape) and immerse in boiling water for about a minute. Take them out and let them cool before you peel the skins off and roughly chop all the tomatoes.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the onions until translucent.
Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Tip the tomatoes in along with some salt.
Chop half of the basil leaves and add it to the tomatoes.
Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 30 mins.
Now, crush the tomatoes with the back of your spatula and give it all a good mix.
Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
Once cooled, blend into a sauce.
Put the sauce back on the flame and add thyme and paprika.
Check for salt and adjust.
Toss the cooked spaghetti in and give it a good mix.
Serve in a bowl and top the spaghetti with the remaining basil leaves and grate some cheese over it.