Ah, 2021… Yet another year where we'll be enjoying a cosy night in with our Valentine on the 14th of February.
If, like me, you’ve been cooking nearly every meal from scratch at home since March last year, you might be struggling for motivation for the cliché of V-day.
So I'm proud to introduce to you the perfect recipe for a memorable Valentine's day dinner… drum roll please…
Spaghetti with tomato sauce!
I know what you're thinking. Have I completely run out of ideas? Spaghetti with tomato sauce is the most basic dish one could think of, isn't it?
Trust me, it's not. It would always come out too sour, or too sweet, or not saucy enough, or lacking that nostalgic taste you remember from childhood. Something would always go wrong.
The ingredients in this recipe might seem to you so simple, I'd say even humble. Nothing special that could explain how this spaghetti dish looks so impressive and tastes so divine.
Without a drop of water in the sauce, based on fresh tomatoes (no tinned / puree tomatoes here!), and without the need to balance with sugar or black pepper. Stick to these instructions and after exactly 15 minutes, including cooking the pasta, you will have the most delicious tomato spaghetti in the universe.
1. Slice the garlic into fairly thick slices. Cut the tomatoes in half.
2. In a wide frying pan, fry the garlic, basil, sage, and chilli sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
Make sure you don't over-fry the garlic, only until it's soft.
3. Add the tomatoes and turn the heat up. Stir for 2 minutes.
4. Cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes.
5. Add salt and turn off the heat. Note that there is no water here and the frying both softens the tomatoes and intensifies their taste, just like what happens in jam.
6. At this point, cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted water to your preferred consistency. Leave 1/2 cup water aside and filter from liquids.
7. Return the sauce to the pan, add mascarpone, and stir.
8. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook together, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the pasta is completely wrapped in the sauce.
If the sauce is too thick for you, you can add a few tablespoons of water from the cooking water.