Guest post: Perfect 10-minute pasta


perfect pasta dish

I am delighted to welcome fellow food & family blogger Jess from Relentless Laundry to The One-Handed Cook. Jess is a brilliant writer, documenting her and her family’s (and the cats’) busy lives in Singapore, with recipes thrown in for good luck (no, I don’t know how she does it either) and I read her posts every week. So I dropped her a line asking if she’d like to contribute a recipe, and rather brilliantly she said yes… It’s a fab, super-quick and delicious recipe, perfect for this busy season when the kids need yet ANOTHER meal, and  you’ve had enough of being in the kitchen, and frankly you’re all out of ideas anyway… Photo and food styling courtesy of my friend, the amazing Rosie Reynolds

Helloooo! VERY exciting to be invited on to the OHC’s lovely blog. Well, it’s exciting now, although to be honest when I read her email I thought WTF I AM WAY TOO BUSY FOR SUCH FRIVOLITIES (or indeed anything at all). Because this is the problem with parenthood, is it not? The constant, relentless busy-ness. It’s all the time, but sometimes overwhelmingly so. Like when you realise that a gym / swim / ballet class doesn’t finish until 6pm and you have all the kids with you (kicking and biting and screaming) and the petrol light has just pinged on and you also need to stop by an ATM for cash and so by the time you get home it’s nearly 7pm FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE and not a baby in the house fed, let alone washed…

This is when I fall on this recipe, because it takes ten minutes (less, if you use quick-cook pasta), start to finish. And it’s almost entirely cupboard ingredients, THANK GOD, because if you have to leave the house to go buy something you might actually shoot yourself in the head.

Super quick

Ten Minute Pasta & Tomato Sauce

You will need: (for 2 adults or 4 kids)

1 clove of garlic
Some olive oil
Couple of basil leaves (optional)
A tin of crushed / plum tomatoes
Pasta – any type. About 250g, or as much as you / they’ll eat.

What to do:

Put the kettle on for the pasta.

While the kettle is boiling, put a couple of glugs of olive oil into a pan, and add the garlic (crushed or finely chopped). Tear up one of the basil leaves and add this too, if using. Then put the heat on under the pan – as low as you can.

Add the boiled water to the pasta, put heat on high.

At this point the garlic should have started to sizzle a bit and the basil starting to go crispy.

Add the tin of tomatoes, chopping up any whole ones with a spoon. Turn the heat up high, and add the remains of the basil (if using). Once it starts to bubble, turn it down to medium. (You can eat it at any point from now, but obv the longer you leave it cook, the more it reduces and the tastier it is.)

Wait for pasta to finish cooking, drain, and add to the tomato sauce. Stir like a mad woman (which is handy, all things considered), season with S&P if you want, and plonk onto plates.

My kids like grated parmesan on top of theirs, but I have been known just to throw a handful of ready-grated stuff on top. Saves me HOURS.

Eat, enjoy, and tell yourself that things will be calmer tomorrow…



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