The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing, …
…and I’m tired. This is what I do when I’m hungry, in a hurry, and nobody is watching.
Get some pasta going in a pot: conchiglie is the way forward with this kind of dish. You’ll need another pan in which to cook the sauce, and big enough to hold the cooked pasta as well.
For each person, finely chop 1-2 cloves of garlic, and gently fry in olive oil. Meanwhile, sieve a tin of chopped tomatoes until almost all the juice has run off and you’ve only got the flesh left. Once the garlic is translucent and golden, tip the tomatoes in, plus salt, pepper, half a teaspoon dried oregano and a quarter teaspoon of dried basil. Bring to the boil, and reduce to a bare simmer. This will have taken about five minutes, so let it simmer away for another five, or whenever the pasta is done.
When the pasta is ready, drain it, and then tip it into the saucepan of sauce, add a splash of your best extra virgin, and stir furiously. This is where the shell shapes of the conchiglie come in handy, as they will scoop up and hold the meagre amount of sauce. Serve in pre-heated bowls with plenty of Parmesan, and a glass of quaffing wine.
Depending on what else you’ve got in the cupboard, you could add…
- some chilli, when you’re frying the garlic, just enough to add a bit of zing
- some anchovy fillets, either with the tomatoes or just before serving
- some chopped up olives, after the garlic
- a splash of cream, if you have some handy
- some capers, but only just before serving – cook ’em and they’re foul