Mah’s Pasta Sauce

Home Alone on a Friday Night

I’m back living at home, so I’m lucky enough to get my dinner cooked for me by my mummy, but occasionally I have to fend for myself. This means either getting an oven meal or something that takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook – for example stir fry is one of my favourites, quick and healthy. I can cook but I don’t have the patience to prepare a meal just for myself but prefer cooking with company other than the dogs and Magic FM (it would be Radio 1 but it sucks after 7pm unless you’re planning on spending the night clubbing in your kitchen).

So last night, I chose the fail-safe method of seeing what’s available in the cupboards/fridge and putting it together over pasta. This sauce was a stock meal I made when I lived in Edinburgh, when there wasn’t much money to spend on anything other than rent and bills.

Ingredient List

When I make this sauce I don’t follow the list exactly, I just use as much as I feel like at the time. Sometimes I want more mushrooms, sometimes I want them thickly sliced, sometimes I can get away with garlic breath the next morning and sometimes I don’t have any herbs – I think you get the idea. As all great chefs say; a recipe is simply your guide to cooking.

I would say the following is plenty for 2 people (hungry boys will probably say 1 person):

  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
  • 1 onion (red or white)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 mushrooms (any, I had chestnut ‘shrooms last night)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • Pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g tin of tomatoes
  • 1 stock cube (vegetable/chicken/beef – depends how rich you want the sauce)
  • Splash of red wine (optional)
  • 3 drops tabasco (optional)
  • 180g pasta (any variety)

Putting it together

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chopped onions and let them fry gently until soft.
  2. Turn down the heat a little and add the finely chopped garlic. Mix around for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Add the mushrooms, cut however you like (I usually thinly slice, but if you blend the sauce at the end this doesn’t make a difference) and stir until they are softened and cooked.
  4. I add the ground black pepper and herbs at this point.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  6. While it is cooking, stir the stock cube into about 100 millilitres of boiling water. Use a vegetable cube if you want a lighter sauce or beef if you want it richer. After about 5 minutes add the stock and bring to a fast simmer to reduce the sauce.
  7. If you have some red wine, you can add a splash at this point along with the tabasco. Stir occasionally until it has thickened and resembles pasta sauce – I have no idea how long this takes, depends how fast you simmer/boil it.
  8. When it is nearly ready, cook the pasta according to the instructions.
  9. Taste the sauce and add salt as required.
  10. You can either blend the sauce or leave it chunky.
  11. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and stir in.

Tip: heat the bowls by draining the pasta over them in the sink and leave them to dry while you add the sauce to the pasta.

I think it took about 30 minutes to make this, so it wasn’t too dull and just in time for Eastenders.

What are your ideas for a quick and healthy meal? (No Ian, a plate of sausages does not constitute a meal!)

7 comments on “Mah’s Pasta Sauce”

  1. I generally don’t bother measuring much of anything at all… It certainly makes cooking a more interesting experience.

  2. I don’t measure anything either. But I thought that a recipe that said; add some onions, mix a stock cube with some hot water wouldn’t have been much help to people. If it was, then they probably wouldn’t have need for a recipe anyway.

  3. Pingback: Punkchip Mah Pasta Sauce | Cast Iron Cookware

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