Viva Pasta!

June 27, 2010

What event takes place when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie?

Freakin’ AMORE, that’s what.

Summer flavors are fabulous. Plain and simple. Tomatoes and basil are best pals, and they just so happen to be in season at the same time. That’s no coincidence, my friends. That’s a sign that these two are meant to ride off into the sunset, hand in hand, and be together forever… in the form of spaghetti.

Droolworthy? I think so.

I’ve decided to do a few posts over the next month or so of dishes from around the world. I’ve got Mexican, Indian, Greek, Japanese, Thai, and British meals planned so far. So what better way to kick start the grand world tour than with a big bowl of fabulous, good-for-you carbs?

This spaghetti is so good, your Italian grandmother would approve of it. Well, she would if she was a vegan and didn’t like to take a lot of time to do things. This sauce is super quick (it took me no longer than it took to cook the pasta) and it’s one of those things that can just sit and sit for hours and only get better. The leftovers are gonna be bangin’.

Not Your Grandma’s (unless she’s a vegan) Spaghetti

Serves 3-4, depending on hunger levels. Yes, I just compared dinner guests to Sims.

You’re gonna need:

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

~1 lb grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

Meatless meatballs (however many you like)

4 servings of whole wheat spaghetti

3 cups fresh basil, packed

S&P to taste

First, get your onion and garlic working in a pan to soften up. I just realized that all of my recipes seem to start with onion and garlic. I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Set your pasta water on to boil. Go ahead and drop your pasta when the water is at a rolling boil. I don’t get it when Rachael Ray says “drop your pasta.” Because if you dropped it on the floor, that’d suck. But if you literally dropped it into the boiling water, that’d suck too, and probably burn you.

Post pasta-dropping, turn up the burner and add your grape tomatoes and tomato paste. You’ll probably need some water to help thin out your tomato paste (add some starchy pasta water at the end, just make sure you reserve it and don’t throw the water away!).

A quick note about the tomato paste: don’t worry about what to do with the rest of the can. Seriously – who uses the entire can of tomato paste in one single recipe (besides me) anyway? On the rare occasion that I don’t use a whole can, I take what I need and chuck the rest of the paste in a ziplock baggie in the freezer and take it out when I need it. I can just cut a hunk of tomato paste off and throw it into a hot pan. Easy as pie. Pizza pie.

The grape tomatoes should start to soften and burst pretty soon due to the heat of the pan. That’s good. You want that. Once they start to burst, they will help the sauce become tomato-y and delicious and sauce-like. Once they do their thing, add in about three quarters of your basil and some meatless meatballs. Or whatever you have. I could have easily made tofu meatballs but I’m a lazy bum, so TJ’s meatless meatballs came to my rescue.

Now just play the waiting game while you wait for your pasta to cook. Once it has, don’t you dare drain it, or you’ll lose all of your Little Italian Grandmother Brownie Points. Use your tongs to take the pasta out of the pot and put those suckers straight into the sauce. Do it like they do it on Discovery Channel in Italy.


Serve it with the rest of your basil for garnish.

Then you are free to move about the aircraft NOM.

Just remember to save some for your grandma.


13 Responses to “Viva Pasta!”

  1. Viva Pasta!…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Mmm that looks so good! I love tomato and basil together, too! I’ve always been so lazy to make my own sauce but you make it look relatively easy!

  3. Megan Says:

    Your spaghetts looks professional!! Basil is SO perfect in pasta. Love it πŸ™‚

  4. Rebecca Says:

    Listening to that song while I read this post made it 10x as fun!
    Now I HAVE to make this for my Nana! Haha thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚
    & Nana says thanks, too!

  5. Vicky Says:

    That pasta looks delicious!! And I can’t wait to see your Indian food! It’s my ABSOLUTE fave!!! Hope your weekend was fabulous!! – Vicky (

  6. kaztronomic Says:

    I am definitely going to make your pasta recipe! And so true, the best recipes always start with garlic and onion. πŸ˜€

    I play Sims, too! xD More times than not, I’ve turned to the fella when running late and said, “You know, life would be so much easier if we just had a Rejuvenation Chamber!” Hehe.

  7. simplyshaka Says:

    Love Dean!!! I have been craving some hot spaghetti lately but I never do that method of putting it right in the sauce. I like my spaghetti not so saucy and without marinara b/c I am weird like that. If anything, I prefer evoo, red pepper flakes, garlic and oregano. Add some goat cheese and I “Thats amore!!” πŸ™‚

  8. Chelsey Says:

    Come cook for me, pleeease?

    That looked deliious.

    I’m making eggplant parm tomorrrow! I’m so excited – especially because I have a basil plant this summer!

  9. Diana Says:

    Ooh, that looks so yummy! I love a good tomato-pasta! πŸ™‚

  10. Can I please come over and have you cook this for me, please?!!? This looks absolutely amazing!

  11. Faith Says:

    Oof, that looks AMAZING. I adore spaghetti – must be my Italian family! I’m obsessed with finding the perfect homemade sauce recipe…I’m definitely going to be trying this! And it’s funny, most of my recipes all involve onion and garlic too πŸ˜‰

  12. maxinthegym Says:

    Yum! I fixed my Italian craving in the form of a pizza hahaha

  13. Delicious!! I know my italian grandmother would definitely approve – in fact, I might just make this for her (:

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