Friday, 6 September 2013

Penne with Smokey Tomato & Vegetable Sauce (Vegetarian)

There are tons of variations of tomato based pasta sauces but this is one of my new favourites. With the addition of fresh chilli for heat and enhanced by smoky paprika, it’s a simple meal but incredibly enjoyable. 

The longer you cook off the sauce the more intense the flavours become, but it can be ready, realistically, in twenty minutes so is perfect for mid-week. I make enough here for two for dinner and two smaller portions which make perfect lunchtime fodder for the next day.

Here’s how:
·         1 tin of chopped tomatoes
·         1 onion
·         2 cloves garlic
·         50g pitted black olives
·         1 red pepper
·         1 red chilli
·         2 tbsp tomato puree
·         2 tsp smoked paprika
·         Salt & Pepper
·         1-2 tbsp olive oil

Firstly roughly dice the onion and slice the garlic then add to a pan on a low heat in about a tablespoon of olive oil and gently sauté.

Finely slice the chilli and add to the pan. Slice the pepper and olives and similarly add to the pan.

Once all veg is starting to soften, add the tin of tomatoes to the pan with the tomato puree. Season generously and add the paprika and stir through with a wooden spoon.

Cook off for twenty-thirty minutes, stirring regularly. Taste and add seasoning if needed or if you’d like a more smoky flavour, another teaspoon of paprika.

Cook the penne according to the packet and before draining use a ladle to capture half a ladle full of the cooking water and add to the sauce and stir through.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, stirring through to ensure all pasta is evenly coated.

You can of course add some fresh parsley or basil at this point before serving – but personally I don’t bother, it’s practically perfect without.


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