Pasta salad has long been a favourite summer side dish of mine. It’s full of rich tomato flavour, but it’s light enough to eat even on the hottest days!
You will need:
- a sharp knife
- a chopping board
- 2 saucepans
and the ingredients (for four portions):
- A little oil
- 1 onion
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- mixed herbs
Start by placing your larger saucepan on a gentle heat. Add a little oil (less than a teaspoon is fine), and dice your onion. (You can find more detailed instructions here: onion)
Add your onion to the pan, along with a generous sprinkle of mixed herbs and basil. (A little dried garlic also helps add to the flavour.)
Gently fry the onion until it becomes translucent, and a slightly golden colour. (A little splash of vinegar can help speed up this stage.)
Add your tinned tomatoes. (Remember to wash out the tin with a little water so as not to waste any.)
Heat your sauce to a gentle simmer (a constant, quiet bubble), and let it bubble away while you cook your pasta. (If you’re not sure how to tell when your pasta’s cooked, check out last week’s post here.)
Taste your sauce. The great thing about this sauce is that you can cook it really quickly and keep the flavours of the individual ingredients, or cook it long and slow so it all blends together. (Just make sure to put a lid on it, and make sure it doesn’t dry out.) I usually cook it for about 20 minutes, then add a little tomato puree (or ketchup) for richness.
Once you’re satisfied with your sauce, mix together the sauce and pasta. You could also add some chopped olives or pickles, if you want.
And it’s ready to serve! Perfect for picnics and barbecues!
This is quite a simple recipe, so it’s a great one to experiment with! Why not try adding paprika or chilli along with the herbs, or adding some bell peppers in with the chopped tomatoes?