Sometimes after a hard day of work spending countless hours on the internet and catching up with the news all you want to do is plonk yourself at home, have a nice yet simple home cooked meal and be able to enjoy that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a rainy day. It’s such an awful moment then, when you realise that someone else has beaten you to said bottle of wine and left you with only the last remaining drops of sediment (and this is only after you’ve finished prepping all the ingredients needed for your dinner). Usually you might be smart enough to check the booze status before you even contemplate what you’re going to cook, and if there is nothing there it might be a simple case of saying f*** it I’ll just make some instant noodles, but when you’ve gone as far as I had on this supposed rainy day… well you’ve no choice but to carry on cooking.
Now, I have quite a few friends that don’t enjoy cooking which I think is quite normal however, these same people wouldn’t be able to cook even if they enjoyed it, they’re that hopeless. These are the kind of people that when making a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich cut the slices so thick that upon receiving your sandwich everything inside is still cold. So this little recipe is dedicated to them, after all if I can be inspired to cook this up in a boozeless state then I’m sure they’ll be able to manage.
Lovely readers I present to you my 15 minute, restaurant quality Penne Napolitana. (I personally vouch for it being restaurant quality, for as a foodblogger I believe I have an acute sense of taste)
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 250 grams penne rigate
- Roughly half a 700 ml bottle of tomato passata
- 2x clove of garlic
- Handful of torn basil leaves
- 30g grated parmesan (to serve)
- Bring a pot of water to boil for your pasta, and while you wait finely dice your garlic cloves.
- In a saucepan pour a good lug of olive oil, and once brought to heat throw in your garlic.
- Once the garlic releases its aroma and there’s a slight turn of colour throw in your basil leaves and fry for half a minute or so.
- By now your water should be at full boil, so throw in your pasta and salt the water (a few pinches should be fine).
- Back to your saucepan throw in the passata, and bring to the boil while stirring (be mindful the sauce is quite thick so it’ll start to bubble and burst all over the joint if you leave it)
- At this point you can check for seasoning, and season to your taste with salt, pepper or even balsamic vinegar.
- Back to your pasta, and you want to stop cooking while it’s a little underdone, this may be a simple case of if the pack says 11 minutes, drain at 9. Once you’ve drained the pasta (keep inside pot) throw in a few spoonfuls of the sauce and stir on low heat for a minute or so just to keep the pasta cooking to al dente.
- Serve your pasta in a bowl, ladle over a spoonful of the remaining sauce and grate the parmesan over. Pour yourself a glass of wine if you’re lucky enough to have any nearby, chuck on some Jersey Shore or any slightly racist Italian American show/ movie of your choice and you’ve got the makings of a good mid-week evening.