Tomato and Rocket Pasta – National Vegetarian Week

Yesterday I skipped lunch and ended up devouring cake and coffee. This is not the end of the world really, it was a beautiful organic peach upside-down cake with a soy latte and I loved every mouthful. So I cannot feel guilty if all I got from this experience was pleasure right? Right. So when I got home, feeling no guilt at all, I craved vegetables which is pretty lucky as I’ve given up meat in all it’s forms this week.

I trudged to the shop and wasn’t very inspired by the supermarket or the selection of things on offer, I probably should have made a list but hey I like a bit of spontaneity every now and then. Yeah that’s me, living life on the edge and impulse buying. Now what you may class as an impulse buy may not be the same as me, I went crazy and bought olives and sunflower seeds even though I didn’t know what the hell I was going to do with them. Wild huh?

Okay, so we’ve established that maybe my shopping trip was not really exciting but what is exciting is that this little dish that came together from my veggie laden rucksack and it was exactly what I needed. As soon as I got home I jumped into my PJ’s, popped on some funky music and danced my way through dinner. Who says cooking for 1 can’t be fun?

Tomato and Rocket Pasta

Serves 2 (starter) Serves 1 (hungry person) – Prep time: 10 mins, Cooking Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

50g-80g Dried spaghetti (depending on how hungry/greedy you are)
Good glug of olive oil
1/2 Onion, sliced into half moons
1 Large garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp Sweet Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Dried oregano
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Tomato puree
1 Large mushroom, sliced
5 Cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and Pepper
Small palmful of fresh basil leaves
Small handful of fresh rocket, washed

Method:

  1. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and cook your spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
  2. Place the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, when hot add the onions and saute until soft. Add the garlic and cook through for another minute then sprinkle the paprika, cayenne pepper and oregano over the onion and garlic mixture then stir to combine everything. This mixture may become a little dry but do not fear.
  3. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and tomato puree to the onion mixture, cook through for 2 minutes until everything is well combined. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes then cook until the mushrooms have soften (approx 3/4 minutes) Whilst the mushrooms and tomatoes are cooking, ladle some of the pasta water into the onion mixture to create a sauce. (There’s no specific measurements for this part I’m afraid, start with one ladle then top the sauce up gradually to get the consistency you like)
  4. Turn the heat down on your sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper (please be aware you’ll have added salty pasta water so do taste it before you go crazy with the salt mill) tear up the basil leaves roughly and scatter over the sauce with the rocket and stir through.
  5. At this point my pasta was just cooked, if it’s cooked sooner then drain and leave it in the pan until you’ve reached step 4.
  6. Add the hot pasta to the sauce and stir until everything is combined and smelling wonderful.
  7. Eat.

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