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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chop the preserved lemon and mint finely.
- 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.
- 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.