Smokey tomato and spinach pasta with garlic breadcrumbs

With Sunday approaching, while we are all stuck indoors, I thought I’d knock up something easy with items from my cupboard. There are so many recipes for a ‘tomato’ sauce on the internet. Truth be told, theres no REAL recipe for one- everyone has a different pallet, preferring different flavours. But if your feeding the kids, its important to keep it healthy and nutritious. This is my quick, easy smokey tomato sauce, with garlic breadcrumbs and spinach. This serves 3, or 4 with 2 kids portions.

TIP: be creative! if you don’t have any of these ingredients, they are easily interchangeable. For example, if you don’t have tomato passata, use chopped tomatoes. Or rosemary instead of thyme, and so on! This is often where the best flavours and new recipes come to light. 

INGREDIENTS

  • Tomato Sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 300-600g tomato passata or chopped tomatoes (passata just blended chopped toms)
  • 1/2 courgette, 1 pepper
  • heaped tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • veg stock cube or pot (pot better)
  • 1 red chilli or 2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 240g pasta
  • 200g Spinach

BREADCRUMBS

  • 2 slices of brown bread (white is okay!)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  1. Start by cooking your pasta in boiling water, with a pinch of salt. The packet should show you cooking times. Remember to drain it and coat it with a little oil to keep fresh when its cooked
  2. Slice your peppers in any shape you like- sweat them off in a tablespoon of oil, adding chopped garlic when they become soft
  3. Courgettes are best diced- but cut them however you like and add to the pan
  4. Add all your dry spices, except the oregano (paprika, cumin, etc), if you are adding chilli do it now. Begin to lightly toast these with your vegetables. Keep stirring all they could burn. Add a pinch of salt and pepper 
  5. Add your tomato paste, cook for a minute or too. Then add your tomato passata (the amount will depend on how many your feeding! 3 people require around 500ml of sauce). If you are using a stock pot, add this now and top up with a half cup of water. If you are using a stock cube, dissolve this in half a cup of boiling water, then add to your sauce
  6. Allow this to simmer to 20 minutes, until the colour has changed and the sauce has thickened. 
  7. While your sauce is simmering, blitz your breadcrumbs with 2 cloves of garlic. Toast these breadcrumbs in a pan until golden
  8. Check your sauce for seasoning- it may need more salt. Finish the sauce with oregano. You can now mix your pasta with your sauce.
  9. Let it come to temperature, mix spinach, allow it to slightly wilt with the pasta, and then serve up. Top with your crunchy breadcrumbs.

Thats it! Super simple and can be done within half a hour. A really delicious dish without any animal products. It works as the breadcrumbs add sustenance to it you may be missing from meat. Its a really nice crunchy texture. You can vary the flavour of the sauce with anything you like. This is a basic recipe which is really tasty everyone will enjoy. I hope you stay safe during these times and keep it #vegan the whole time!



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| Lewie Brow

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