Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Day 20

It’s hard to believe that almost 3 weeks completed of the Challenge and tonight was the first time I made a pasta dish considering that pasta has become a store cupboard staple in almost every Irish home. So, tonight, I made Tinned-tomato pasta which is by far one of the easiest pasta recipes I’ve ever made.
First of all, I put on the pasta to cook which I won’t waste time explaining because everyone knows how to do pasta! Secondly, I put on some minced beef to cook in a frying pan as I made two versions of this dish – one with meat and one without. I then sautéed two finely chopped onions and four cloves of garlic in oil for 8 minutes. I am gradually weaning myself off using my garlic press. Instead, I’m chopping the garlic up myself as it takes too long to do them using the press. Also, it’s one less utensil to clean and, believe me, if you could see the state of my kitchen while I have a work-in-progress whereby every square inch of worktop is in use, any way in which reduces the mess is a plus!

Once the onion and garlic were soft and lightly coloured, I added in the capers for 1 minute before adding two tins of chopped tomatoes. So tell me I’m not the only person in the world who doesn’t like eating the core of the tomato?!!! So what I do is pour a tin of the tomatoes onto a plate and then pick all the cores out. I know. A bit crazy. Anyway, I then added some caster sugar to the sauce. I left out the olives again as we don’t like them and, within 12 minutes, all was ready to eat. I split the sauce and added the cooked mince into the saucepan for the boys. Finally, I garnished the dish with grated parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley. I absolutely love parsley and it’s something which my father has been growing in the garden for years. Whilst chopping the parsley, it reminded me of a pregnancy craving I had when I was expecting Baby Daughter last year. I remember going to the hairdressers one Saturday to get my hair done when I was about 7 months pregnant with a bag of parsley in hand. I got the weirdest looks from this woman but sure there are worse things one could eat when pregnant than parsley! It’s a wonder I can still eat it after having ate so much over those months!

The verdict…

Dear Husband gave the meal 7 out of 10 which isn’t bad for a pasta dish the night after the ‘magical 10 meal’. Dear Son ate ALL of his and I mean ALL. That was so great to see him eating away even if he was completely covered from head to toe in sauce!!! For that reason alone, I am giving it 9 out of 10 on his behalf. Dear Sister No.1 happened to call in as I was serving up and she gave it 10 out of 10. Then, Dear Sister No.3 arrived as we were eating and she had a plateful worth 7 marks out of 10.

I really liked this recipe as everything was in the absolute right quantities. I have made my own variations of this over the years but very often the tomatoes wouldn’t be sweet enough and then I probably didn’t add enough sugar or there would be something else missing that I could never quite put my finger on. Also, Dear Sister No.1 loves chillies and said that this would be the perfect recipe to add some freshly chopped chilli so that’s what I’ll do next time. The only thing is, I’ll make sure I add the chillies and not Dear Sister. Otherwise, I’ll have to have a full carton of Donegal Creameries milk to hand. That girl really does like her chillies….


  1. I don't like the pulp from tomatoes either! You should use passata instead, it's sieved tomatoes so you get all the taste of tomatoes but none of the seeds, skin, etc! :)

  2. Great suggestion, Sara! I must remember to get some! :)