Spaghetti with tomatoes, preserved lemons and mint

This is the pasta dish I make when I am home alone and feel like some quick comfort food, or late from the office and exhausted after a long day, or if I’m starving at lunch time and too busy doing other things to spend too much time in the kitchen. I often have these ingredients in my fridge towards the end of the week.  At one stage, I was making this dish 2-3 times a week – not great for eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but it was better than take away!

I’ve adapted the additions to the tomato sauce over the years – the original version contained basil and occasionally baby spinach and/or mushrooms, minus the mint and lemon.  Serves one hungry and impatient person.


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 250g ripe roma tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • 1 quarter preserved lemon
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 125g wholemeal spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A sprinkle of parmesan or chopped roasted almonds (dairy free)


  1. Smash the garlic with the back of your knife and chop it and the chilli finely.  Add a pot of water to the stove for the spaghetti and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli to a frypan with olive oil, and cook on low-medium heat for five minutes, until the oil has absorbed the flavours of the garlic and chilli and smells delicious.
  3. Chop the tomatoes roughly and add to the frypan.  Turn up the heat and let the tomatoes reduce over the heat for a few minutes.  Season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Chop the preserved lemon and mint finely.
  5. Add spaghetti to water, once boiling, and cook until just before it is al dente. When spaghetti is ready, add it to the frypan with the tomatoes and stir  for a minute or two until the sauce is absorbed.
  6. Remove from the heat, and stir in preserved lemon and mint.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and a little parmesan.  You may wish to add some chopped roasted almonds instead of the parmesan.  Serve in your favourite bowl on the couch.
Spaghetti with tomatoes, preserved lemons and mint thumbnail image A mid-week lunch or dinner tomato pasta with some zing 30min

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