When I was a kid, there was a TV show called 'Perfect Strangers'... it was an epic comedy at the time, where the plot revolved around the life of two cousins - one from Chicago, and one from some unknown Mediterranean island called 'Mepos'. The cousin from Mepos had a terrible English accent, and when he was posing as a cleric in one of the episodes, he announced 'We are gathered here today in Holy Macaroni'. The phase kind of stuck around...
When in doubt, head for the pasta stash. It is, in every way, appreciatively holy - it saves time, it's economic, and there are so many ways to make it that you cant really get bored. Of course I have a few Italian friends that would likely froth at the mouth at the prospect of my doing this to, as we said, holy macaroni... but improvisation is necessary. The day I created this recipe, I had just finished spring cleaning, and I was exhausted and hungry and needed something fast. Basically, I threw everything into one ceramic pot, boiled it in water, and was digging into something hot and hearty within 12 minutes.
This recipe could also easily feed 4 people, so it's ideal for those that work and need to feed a mob when they get home. And that don't want to wash too many dishes. Because you know... one pot ;). Enjoy!
1 packet spaghetti
1 large tomato diced, or 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
A hand-full of basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
3/4 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups water (or vegetable broth)
In a large ceramic pot or skillet, place spaghetti, tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil leaves, and chili flakes.
Add water (or broth), oil, tomato paste, and salt.
Bring to boil on high heat, turning often with tongs.
Water will start to evaporate. Taste at this point, and season with pepper and more salt to taste.
Once pasta is tender and water has evaporated into a think transparent sauce, serve with extra basil for garnish.
Divide into dishes and dig in, immediately.