The pear tree is casting a gentle shade in the garden. Half-light, half-dark. Cool enough to protect from the burning sun and warm enough to invite us for a lunch outside. It is a perfect summer day and we are eager to set the table underneath the brunches. A plate of delicious food, a glass of chilled rosé, bird songs and butterflies, transform the day into pure magic. Who new that life could be so simple?
My husband doesn’t stop to smile or to compliment the cooking. He takes a bite and marvels how home cooked spaghetti could taste so divine. We both take second helpings, eating more than we should, but with the flower scented setting and our eyes full of green, is seems perfectly alright. The spaghetti are so sweet and light. Home made sauce and a plate full of garden veggies – tomatoes, paprika, croquette and aubergine. All the basic recipe ingredients of the famous spaghetti alla Puttanesca!
Most people consider making a tomato sauce a difficult task. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Frying a minced garlic clove, diced onion, chopped tomatoes and paprika is all that it takes. The vegetables do the cooking. Adding a few dry herbs and spices brings everything together and before you know it you have a home made spaghetti sauce. I guarantee, it is sweeter and lighter than anything you may choose from the store. Once the sauce is ready, I add the pre-cooked vegetables and the boiled spaghetti mixing well. Serving with plenty of fresh basil leaves elevates the flavour of the dish, making it all Italian. Easy and delicious every day cooking, but when made with love, it is always turning into something more.
- Store bought spaghetti
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 courgette, chopped into cubes
- 1 aubergine, chopped into cubes
- 1 red paprika, chopped into cubes
- 5 ripe red tomatoes, chopped into cubes
- pinch of salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp red paprika powder
- 1 tsp dry basil
- fresh basil leaves
1. Boil the spaghetti in a deep pot full of water, a pinch of salt and a few droplets of olive oil.
2. Cut all vegetables in cubes.
3. Heat two table spoons of olive oil in a frying pan and add the aubergines. Fry on a medium heat until they become soft and golden brown. Take the cooked aubergines out of the frying pan and set aside.
4. Add a table spoon of olive oil in the same pan and dry the courgette until soft and golden brown. Take out of the pan and mix together with the aubergines. Set aside.
5. In the same frying pan, if needed add more olive oil and the onion, garlic and red paprika. Season with the red paprika powder, the dry oregano and dry basil. Fry for a few minutes until the onions and paprika become soft. Add the cubed tomatoes and a table spoon of water. Cook the souse for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have disintegrated and have mixed well into a harmonious souse. Season with salt, black pepper and sugar.
6. Once the sauce is ready, add the already cooked courgette and aubergine. Cook for additional 5 minutes allowing all flavours to combine. If needed, add more salt and black pepper.
7. Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix everything well.
8. Decorate the spaghetti with some fresh basil leaves. Serve warm.