Sunday, 5 September 2010

Tomato and Garlic pasta

For as long as I can remember I have eaten this dish, it is the very best pasta dish imaginable. It's fast . just the thing for a hungary time short foodie. The exact origins of it are lost in the mists of time, but my mother is Italian, so there is a connection from Naples somewhere. I am aware that my readers are not six years old, so for the sake of treating you adults I have called this dish tomato and garlic pasta, but in our house, since I was a child, it has always been known as garlic yum yum. Despite the name and the huge amount of garlic in this there is very little direct garlic taste. It is the intense sweet tomato that comes to the front of the pallet, with soft mellow garlic base under this rich sauce. This is a fast dish that has depth. The speed at which you can take the ingredients out of the store cupboard and have this ready to eat on the table is seriously impressive.

It's worth making extra. I use this as the topping for my Pizza.

Linked recipe > Tomato Pizza and Oregano Bread


One medium bulb of garlic

One 200g tube tomato puree

75 ml of olive oil

One pack of 500 g of spaghetti

Fresh Parmesan for serving


Peel and finely chop all the garlic cloves. Put the pasta on to cook according to the instructions on the packet. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water before cooking. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan for a minute or two. Test it is hot enough by dropping a small piece of garlic in, when it sizzles it is hot enough so add the rest of the garlic in. Cook for about 1 -2 minutes. You are not looking to brown the garlic at all to keep the heat at a mid temperature.

Stir in the tomato puree and turn the heat to a slightly lower temperature. Keep stirring. As the tomato cooks it incorporates most of the oil and turns from a fresh red to a deeper darker red. After 4 – 5 minutes it should be done.

Drain your pasta and add to the tomato sauce stirring well. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan, a glass of merlot and a crispy green salad to finish.

Makes for 6 people



  1. As one of my (and my daughter's) all time favourite dishes is a simple garlic, broccoli pasta that takes a similar amount of time I will definitely be trying this out (I will probably fiddle with the quantities as I will only need half the serving). Having had one child with a dairy allergy (who is also not mad about veggies), one of the great things about this is that minus the parmesan it is non dairy yet will still be tomatoey without any actual tomato pieces. Will let you know my findings and how it goes down!!!

  2. Hi Cath,

    If you don't want to use it all then set any leftover paste to one side and and use as a pizza topping the next day. I like mine grilled on pitta bread .. even without cheese it is good. I also stir left over paste into leftover mashed potato and and egg and make potato cakes with it too.


  3. Ah, didn't see your comment until later so just sort of halved everything, wouldn't dare make any more as I ate way too much! It was delicious, Laura (2 on Friday) loved it too. I used 2tbsps of oil and that was fine for half a tube of puree. I thought I'd measure it so I could report back as I largely cook 'by eye' too! On that basis 4 tbsps should be about right for the full recipe...

  4. Cath.. thank you for pointing out so graciously that I omitted the number of ml for the olive oil !! I wrote the recipe down then went back to the kitchen to remake it and measure the exact amount I use ..and of course forgot to write it in .. to busy eating it !!
    It's been fixed !


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