Celebrating National Spaghetti Day
National Spaghetti Day is the perfect excuse for indulging in your favorite spaghetti dishes. Even if you don’t spend much time in the kitchen, a hearty bowl of spaghetti topped with a simple tomato sauce or a store-bought alternative should do the job nicely. The more adventurous cooks out there will be pleased to know that many cooking websites publish new recipes to celebrate National Spaghetti Day, increasingly with gluten or dairy free options. And if you’re a budding Michelin star chef, why not try making spaghetti from scratch? A pasta maker is a plus, but you can also make your spaghetti strands using a rolling pin and a knife. Spiralizing vegetables is another way to produce a non-typical variant of this beloved classic.
If you want to try your hand at rustling up a little something on the day, check out the following recipe.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 200g tin chopped tomatoes
- 20g pack basil leaves, chopped finely
- 200g dried spaghetti (roughly half of a 500g pack)
- 100g ball mozzarella
- a few pinches of salt & a bit of oil for the pasta
- Peel the onion and the garlic and chop both finely. Set a large frying pan over medium heat and when hot, pour in the oil then add the onion. Cook the onion for about 4-5 mins, or until it softens, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cook 2 mins more until fragrant. Then, add the tomatoes and half the basil. Leave to gently bubble for 15 mins or so, stirring occasionally–the sauce should become thick and pulpy. Break up any large clumps of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Pour water ¾ of the way up your largest pot. Heat over a high heat and add several large pinches of salt and a spoon or so of oil. When water has reached a rolling boil, put the spaghetti in it. Giving it a stir every now ad then stir to separate the pasta, cook it according to pack instructions, usually about 10 mins. Before you finish cooking it, taste a strand of the pasta. It should be just soft, but not mushy. Scoop out a cup of water before draining and set aside (this will help to loosen your sauce). Put the drained pasta back into its cooking pan, then pour in the tomato sauce.
- Give everything a good stir. The sauce should just coat the pasta, but if it is thick and looks dry, stir in a few spoons of the pasta water you set aside before. If it is watery, cook over a low heat for 2-3 mins or until evaporated, stirring often.
- Use your hands to break the mozzarella into chunky pieces and stir through the pasta along with the remaining basil leaves.
- Serve straight away.