Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tomato and Parsley Sauce

Here is what has unexpectedly become one of my all-time favourite ways to serve pasta. It's so simple and low-fat, yet it packs a flavour punch that satisfies even my monstrous appetite. The recipe is Nigella's, from Forever Summer, although I've simplified it a little (as if it could be made any simpler), and below I provide a Thermomix version too.

You will need:
  • olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
  • garlic
  • tinned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, or even passata
  • stock (one vegetable stock cube, or possibly chicken)
  • parsley

I tend not to bother with quantities in my own cooking, so I haven't included any here (but see below for a rough guide). If you make too much sauce, it will keep in the fridge for a few days, and I expect it would freeze well too.

How to make it (normal):
Peel the garlic (as much as you like). Chop, put into a pan with a little pre-heated oil. Fry gently, but take care not to burn it. Add the tomatoes (3-4 large, or half a tin/carton per person) and a crumbled stock cube, and simmer for a while. Roughly chop the parsley, around a handful per person, and add to the sauce. Stir to combine, and pour over the pasta of your choice.

How to make it (Thermomix):
Peel the garlic, add to the bowl with a little oil. Speed 4-5 for a few seconds to chop and combine. Fry 1-2 minutes at 100ÂșC, speed 1. Add the tomatoes and a stock cube, and cook for 5-8 minutes, Varoma temperature. Add a handful of parsley per person and blitz, speed 6, for a few seconds, until chopped and combined. Stir into pasta.

The combination of flavours is just excellent - although some people might regard the use of instant stock as cheating. Health-wise, the only added fat is the olive oil, and the rest is very low-calorie vegetables (though it's not low in salt, given the stock). Anyway, the main reason for eating this is simply that it tastes so good! It's a great example of a vegetarian dish that really doesn't need any meat added.

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