My five year old daughter and I seem to be on this endless quest to make the perfect spaghetti. She prods me along by asking me to make her “noodle pasta”, whenever, yes whenever, I ask her what she would like to have for dinner.
Quest for the Perfect Spaghetti Dinner
It its core this is very simple. Boil the spaghetti with a bit of salt till it's just right and drain it. Toll with a bit of olive oil and serve at once. The sauce is made with olive oil, may be a bit of ghee with sautéed onions, garlic, herbs, optional vegetables and olives, tomatoes... a pinch of red chili or a dash of tabasco... It is also no miraculous feat. But the variations and combinations are endless. A minute longer and the pasta is too mushy. Too little tabasco and my daughter complains "Appa I cant feel the tabasco". The sauce has to be think enough to adhere to the spaghetti. The vegetable have to be ... you get the drift.
- whole wheat or organic spaghetti - 1 lb
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tbs
- Chopped Sweet Onions - 1/2 cup
- minced garlic - 2 cloves (optional)
- Available fresh or dry herbs - 1 sprig each or 1 pinch each
- fresh mint leaves
- fresh sage, thyme or mint
- Fresh Oregano
- cherry or grape tomatoes - 12 optional
- Chopped Ripe Tomato or organic spaghetti Sauce - 2 cups
- Salt and Pepper - to taste
- Dry Red Chili flakes - 1/4 tsp
- Tabasco Sauce - to taste
Sauté sweet onions or shallots in olive oil in a large heavy pan. Add garlic and the herbs when the onions clear. You can add a few pine nuts or cooked edamame or other bean (1/4 cup). Slice black or green olives. Add the cherry tomatoes . Saute till the tomato skins split. Add the chopped tomato or your favorite spaghetti sauce from a jar and stire. Simmer covered for 5 min and serve over fresh, al-dente spaghetti.
You can add dices green or red capsicum peppers, a bit of jalapeño, celery, bok-choy or even sautéed tofu. Let your tastes and mood and available ingredients dictate your path. Serve a few crisp stir fried or steamed vegetables of of your choice (fresh snap peas, spinach, asparagus, carrots, bokchoy, and grate some sharp vegetarian cheese. Add a wine.