Claire’s Tantalising Tomato Pasta
Serves 2, or 1 if you put a bit less of everything in.
1 onion (red is best)
oil (vegetable or olive, not extra virgin as it’s no good for frying)
Some cheese (parmesanalike or a strong cheddar)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Tomato puree (3 tbsp)
Balsamic vinegar (1 tbsp)
Schwartz Italian seasoning (I know, replace with chopped garlic at the onion stage and then basil and oregano at the seasoning stage if you like)
Mushrooms (little ones are easiest)
1 Red Pepper (Ramero is best)
Some Pasta (200g should do it)
2 saucepans or 1 saucepan, one frying pan
1 wooden spoon
Pasta strainer (or in a pinch, the cheese grater)
another plate for the cheese to sit on while you wait
Knife for chopping veg
1. Put pasta in saucepan, cover with water about an inch above it. Add tbsp oil to stop sticking. Add vegetable stock cube for tasty taste.
2. Put pan on hob, turn hob on to a high heat (so it boils). Use a lid to speed up cooking if you like.
3. Chop onion. Chop mushrooms. Chop pepper. All into pieces about the same size as the bits of pasta (because vastly different food sizes are confusing and bewildering). If you are not quick at this you should do it before you start cooking the pasta.
4. Fry onion in oil (and fry garlic too if you’ve gone that way) in a saucepan or large frying pan until brown. High heat for this.
5. Fry red pepper for about a minute, then add chopped toms and turn heat down so that it all simmers rather than explodes out of the pan. Do not lid it, as you want it to reduce, and the moisture needs somewhere to go. Also, add tomato puree at this point. Mmm, puree. You can eat a bit out of the tube, it’s ok, no-one’s looking.
6. Add mushrooms and seasoning, you can use quite a lot of the seasoning, say 2 tbsp.
7. Wait, keep an eye on everything, stir each pan occasionally. turn heat down on pasta if it looks like it might overboil. Add water if necessary. DO NOT PANIC.
8. When the pasta is nearly done, stir in a tbsp of balsamic vinegar to the pan with the sauce. Don’t drink any vinegar from the bottle, you can’t anyway, there’s a stupid plastic pouring device in it.
9. Try the pasta, and if it’s done how you like it, drain the pasta pot, tip the pasta on a plate, tip the sauce onto the pasta, sprinkle the cheese over the whole lot, and eat it. Fork and spoon is apparently the appropriate cutlery, but goodness knows why.
10. TURN OFF THE HOBS, and dump your empty plates in the already slightly full sink. Make a cup of tea to celebrate the culinary success that you are.