**edited, with a new photo after tonight’s dinner
Making tomato sauce from scratch is surprisingly easy. And pre-bottled pasta sauce is unfortunately more often than not disappointingly bland — though I concede it can be quite good for things like lasagne. So that’s why I’d like to share with you today how I make my own tomato pasta sauce from scratch. Easy, yummy and cheap too! The most expensive ingredient in the dish is the seafood, but you could always substitute it with mushrooms for a veggie version.
I’ve made this several times but I think last night’s rendition could have been the most successful one. WS and I both gulped down HUGE bowls of this (what can I say, we’re greedy, and we’ve both been sick over the past week).
Gotta apologise in advance for the poor photo. I promise this tastes much nicer than how I’ve presented it here — was way too excited yesterday and just couldn’t be bothered to plate up properly!
My Favourite Seafood Marinara Pasta
Ingredients, for two generous portions
For a pasta with a sauce made from scratch, I think 12 ingredients is pretty good! 🙂
– 4x medium sized tomatos, chopped — doesn’t matter how or in what sizes as it will all boil down to form the base
– 4x shallots or 1 onion, chopped
– 4x cloves of garlic
– 300ml water, boiled
– ketchup, 3 tablespoons
– 1x red chilli, minced and de-seeded
– butter, a small slab
– olive oil, 1 tablespoon
– black pepper
– 200 grams of *cooked* mixed seafood (mussels/prawn/squid), or can substitute with mushrooms
– 160-200 grams linguine, depending on your appetite
0. If the seafood or bacon you’ve got is not cooked, boil the seafood in salted water. Set aside before making the pasta sauce. This will save you from the headache of trying to cook meat in your sauce!
1. Heat large pan with olive oil on medium heat.
2. When oil is hot, add shallots and garlic. Cook until golden.
3. When shallots and garlic are nicely golden, add the chopped tomatoes.
4. Shallow fry the vegetables for 2 minutes. Add a little water to the pan so that the tomatoes don’t stick to the bottom.
5. Pour in 200ml of water to the pan and squeeze tomato ketchup into the mixture. Then turn heat to low-medium, and cover pan with a lid, letting the tomatoes simmer away in the water. This will form your pasta base.
6. In the meantime, boil linguine in salted water in a separate pot.
7. When the water and tomato-y mixture has thickened, melt in a small slab of butter to the sauce. I add a slab that’s about the size of my thumb. Butter makes everything taste good, and it also in the case of this dish, helps combat some of the acidity in the tomatoes!
8. Let your sauce simmer away until the tomatoes have disintegrated. I like my pasta sauce to be almost soupy; it’s so comforting for cold days. That’s why at this point I would add the remaining 100ml of hot water, but the exact amount is up to you: these are just my guestimates of how much I would reasonably add! Go by your gut! Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to your taste.
9. When you’re happy with the sauce, tip in the cooked seafood (or mushrooms). Cover pan with lid and let it simmer for a good 5 minutes. Mushrooms will be cooked then. You might have to add a little water at this point to maintain the sauce-y consistency in case the meat absorbs some of the liquid.
10. Hopefully your linguine will be done at this point. Drain away the pasta water.
11. Serve sauce on top of linguine, cracking some extra black pepper if you so wish.
Pretty easy right? I’m quite sure the tomatoes + shallots + garlic in total would cost less than a bottle of pre-made pasta sauce, so if you’re looking to save, this is one recipe to try :). Even better if you cook in batches as you can easily freeze leftover sauce for another meal.