I love Spaghetti; I could eat it almost every day, as long as I have the occasional roast chicken along the way.
Way back in my London days I had an Italian girlfriend who would cook it for me in a way that changed my whole attitude towards pasta. She came from Rome, and explained that this was how everyone ate it back home (not drowning in tomato sauce).
She would put about half a cup of good olive oil into a frying pan, crush two cloves of garlic into it and heat gently. Before the garlic started to brown, she would sprinkle in half a chicken stock cube and a few dried chilli flakes. The cooked pasta was then thrown in, tossed around a bit, and served (usually without further additions).
There are many alternatives to the above recipe; a few anchovy filets instead of the stock cube being a particularly good one. Otherwise MY standard pasta sauce is as follows; I'm making it tonight...
For two people, take about 100gms of good quality minced beef, fry in garlic and plenty of olive oil until cooked, add a heaped spoonful of tomato purée, a good splash of red wine, capers, black olives, dried herbs, and half a chicken stock cube. That's it. The consistancy is regulated by the amount of wine.
Ok it's not as quite as quick to make as my old girlfriend's sauce, but 10 mins should be enough. And remember; in Italy they say that if you have sauce left on your plate, you've had too much. A very small amount of a rich sauce is far better than loads of bland!
NOTA BENE: My exceptionally beautiful Italian ex-girlfriend, Natascia, was sadly amongst the 308 who were killed in the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila Italy. I hardly dare imagine what horrors she must have suffered. RIP.
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