Spaghetti Napoli – My Way

Simplicity, Flavour and Ease…all in one…

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Recently I was looking at my wedding and honeymoon photos. Someday I really wish I could go back in time and relive those days. Surrounded by family and friends, dressed in glamorous clothes, eating unbelievably amazing food and then travelling around Europe with my husband. Oh what bliss! We went to France, Italy, Greece and Austria, mesmerised by each country my husband and I really did not want to come back.

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I was really excited about Italy, primarily because I love Italian food and could not wait to try the local cuisine. My obsession with Italian food started quite young but back in those days it was hard to find those fresh and authentic Italian flavours in India. Everything from pizza to pasta was loaded with chilli and oregano and because I knew no better I loved it just as it was. 

I discovered authentic Italian flavours when I moved to Australia and met my sister-in-law and her family. Their food is simple and uncomplicated yet it packs so much of a flavour punch that each bite is like a party in your mouth. Similarly in my travels around Italy it wasn’t the fancy meals that I enjoyed but the simple ones, using a few ingredients and cooked with love. Add to that the beautiful red wine from the region, the warmth and passion of the locals, I was truly in food heaven.

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Today’s pasta dish is inspired by those simple yet bold and fresh Italian flavours. Spaghetti Napoli was my go to dish when we were in Naples. The sweet tomatoes, fresh herbs and al dente spaghetti gosh I never seemed to get enough of it. My version has a bit of a twist, I am using the freshness of mint to elevate this dish to the next level. Believe me when I say tomato and mint is a match made in heaven.

Ingredients: 8    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

  • 250 gms of spaghetti
  • Five medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • Four to five pods of garlic, roughly chopped
  • One tablespoon of capers
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Five to six tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)

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In a deep saucepan bring water to a boil, add salt, followed by the spaghetti and cook as per packet instructions. Until al dente.

To make the sauce, heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add the roughly chopped garlic and cook until aromatic. Once the oil is aromatic, you can remove the garlic if you don’t like chunks of garlic through your pasta.

Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook on a medium heat for seven to ten minutes until the tomatoes are soft. 

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Next add capers, fresh mint leaves and season with salt as desired. If you are not fan of capers you can replace them with olives.

Finally add the pasta and toss through, ensuring the sauce is evenly coating the spaghetti. If serving this dish to kids you can replace the spaghetti with penne or fusilli pasta as it would be less messy when the little ones eat.

To serve garnish with grated Parmesan cheese or just cracked pepper for a vegan friendly option. Serve hot alongside some garlic bread or a simple green salad.

Enjoy this Italian sensation with a glass of red and the company of your family and friends.

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Spagehetti con Pomodoro e Basilico

When the moon hits the sky like a big bowl of spaghetti its amore…

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“Indians are the Italians of Asia and vice versa. Every man in both countries is a singer when he is happy, and every woman is a dancer when she walks to the shop at the corner. For them, food is the music inside the body and music is the food inside the heart.”This quote from Shantaram (one of my favourite books) sums up my two food loves. Indian and Italian. I love the simple yet delicious flavours of Italian food and contrary to popular belief, a lot of Italian food is vegetarian.

Italian food is my go to cuisine when I am looking to make quick fix meals and this recipe is my go to recipe when I am lacking motivation and inspiration to cook. It never disappoints!

Hopefully you enjoy this dish as much as my family and I do.

 

Ingredients: 9   Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2
 
  • 200 – 250 gms of uncooked spaghetti
  • One can of crushed tomato or five to six fresh crushed tomatoes.
  • Onesliced brown or red onion
  • 1.5 teaspoon of chilliflakes
  • One teaspoon of sugar
  • Four pods of chopped garlic
  • Six to seven large basil leaves
  • Four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan and fresh basil leaves cheese for garnish

In a saucepan add three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onion and chopped garlic. and cook until translucent. Once the onion mix is slightly caramelised, add the basil leaves followed by the crushed tomato, chilli flakes, sugar and let the sauce cook on medium flame.

Once the oil surfaces to the top, the sauce is cooked. Season it as required with salt and blend the sauce to make it smooth and creamy.

In another saucepan boil water and add the spaghetti without breaking it. Cook the spaghetti al dente and mix it in with the sauce.Your dinner is now ready! Plate up and garnish with drizzle of one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, grated parmesan and fresh basil leaves.