This is my lazy day go-to recipe. Y’know… for those days when you just don’t feel very “culinary” and want good food, but without the effort! This is why my cupboard is always stocked with jars/tins of pasta sauce, even though I usually make it from scratch. But some days are just reach-for-the-jar kinda days.
The thing I love most about pasta recipes is how versatile they are… You can add pretty much anything you like to pasta, such as olives, courgettes (or “zuchini” to my North American friends!), sweetcorn, grated cheese and even leftover roast chicken (see here for more ideas on what to do with leftover roast chicken).
Note: this recipe is more than enough for 4-5 people. Adjust quantities according to your needs. I live with 3 boys, hence the big pot comes out when cooking!
Pasta (boiled as per instructions on the packet) 400g
3-4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp crushed garlic*
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large capsicums, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 mushrooms, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped (optional)
Handful of fresh corriander, chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp garam masala**
1 jar of your favourite pasta sauce
*pasta and garlic is a match made in heaven, so don’t be afraid to use this much!
**garam masala is my “secret” ingredient in pasta dishes! Well, not so secret anymore so let’s rephrase that to my special ingredient Basically its a blend of spices that includes cloves, cinammon, cardomom pods and much more. You can find ready-made versions easily in supermarkets. If you don’t want to use it, go for black pepper instead, but give it a go for a South Asian twist!
Heat the oil and add the garlic. Fry for a minute or so, taking care not to let it burn, then toss in the carrots and capsicums. Cook on high heat till soft, then add the onions, mushrooms, chilli, corriander, salt and garam masala.
Cook for another minute, then stir in the pasta sauce.
Turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for a minute. Then, add the boiled pasta and mix well to combine.