Spicy Napolitana Spaghetti

    30 min

    Make a colourful and delicious pasta sauce using storecupboard treasures – canned chopped tomatoes, a jar of red peppers and a jar of stuffed green olives. Just add spaghetti and a leaf salad to serve. Delicious!

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • a good pinch of caster sugar
    • 2 x 400g cans tomatoes
    • 1/4 tsp crushed chilli flakes, or to taste
    • 400g spaghetti
    • 450g jar roasted red or mixed peppers, drained and cut into slices
    • 50g stuffed green olives, rinsed, drained and halved
    • grated Parmesan, or Italian-style hard cheese, to serve

    Prep:5min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan, add the onion and sugar, then cook gently for 5 minutes or until just softened. Meanwhile, tip the tomatoes into a food processor or blender and process to make a purée.
    2. Add the puréed tomatoes and crushed chilli flakes to the onion in the pan and season lightly with salt and plenty of pepper (the olives will add more salt to the dish). Bring to the boil, then cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium heat so that the sauce boils gently for 20 minutes.
    3. While the sauce is cooking, cook the spaghetti in a pan of salted boiling water for 10 minutes, or according to the pack instructions, until tender with a bite at the centre.
    4. Drain the pasta and turn into a warmed serving bowl. Spoon over the sauce, add the peppers and olives, and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

    Shopping tips

    You could use olives stuffed with pimento, almonds or anchovies, or use plain stoned olives. * This makes a good meal for vegetarians when served with a vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese.

    …magic meals with ready-made sauces

    If you're really short of time, ready-made pasta sauces can be a useful standby. Here's how to make them more exciting: * Put the contents of a 700g jar pasta sauce in a pan and stir in 125g sliced peeled chorizo (or garlic sausage) or 4 frankfurters, plus a 400g can drained haricot or cannellini beans or 225g cooked whole green beans (fresh or frozen). Heat according to the jar instructions. * Cut 200g thinly sliced cured ham or Parma ham, into strips. Pan-fry then stir in a 700g jar spicy pasta sauce, a 280g jar or can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered, and a 280g jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced. Heat according to the jar instructions. * Cut 250g pork or lamb into strips (either raw or cooked leftovers), then stir-fry in 1 tbsp oil for 7 minutes for raw meat or 4 minutes for cooked. Add 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 courgette cut into thick sticks, then stir in a 700g jar pasta sauce and heat according to the jar instructions until piping hot. * Put the contents of a 700g jar pasta sauce into a pan and add 2 x 220g packs frozen cooked seafood mix. Heat according to the jar instructions. * Stir-fry a 225g pack sliced mushrooms and courgette sticks (or diced aubergine) and 1 chopped garlic clove, then stir in a 700g jar pasta sauce and heat through according to the jar instructions.

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