Have you ever felt that you’re just too tired to cook a big variety of food for lunch? I honestly do sometimes. I can’t always make lunch with sides and salads when I’m busy. Especially because I cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner and even bake in-betweens. It’s always nice to have a recipe on hand that is not only healthy and delicious but also very quick to make. All you have to do is gather all the ingredients like basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, oregano, garlic, pasta, and your favorite seafood that you love to pair with pasta dishes. If your family loves spicy pasta sauce like mine, you can just add a dash (1/4-1/2 tsp) of pepper flakes into the sauce and you’ll have a spicy spaghetti. I’m sure most of you have these basic ingredients in your pantry or in your fridge. For us, we always have wild caught salmon and prawns in the freezer because salmon is undeniably delicious on its own and prawns are just as tasty and versatile. You can even freeze and use the head and the shells later to make a seafood broth for a seafood soup. If you’re a busy mom this recipe is for you and I promise you if your kids eat tomatoes or love pasta, they will love it.
On another note, every week I prepare our clothes for washing just like any other momma out there. I separate the colored from the whites and put all the delicate ones in a mesh bag. This sounds so simple but sometimes I feel like I have a mountain in front of me. And this very recipe has saved me so much time and energy on this kind of days. I can tell you that this recipe has been tried and tested for years and it never fails. My husband still loves it to this day. He also does a signature food dance everytime he eats this dish. He is hilarious! The original idea was from my sister by the way. She uses onions with her favorite plum tomatoes but I found it a bit too sweet so I removed the onions and instead added more garlic—the whole peeled garlic. Plum tomatoes are the best type of tomatoes for making pasta sauce—peeled or unpeeled they taste great. I also use two tablespoons of butter when we are not fasting to make it yummier but on fasting days we use only olive oil. Speaking of olive oil use only a little when you’re cooking the pasta sauce then drizzle some more when the pasta sauce is done and you have removed it from heat. The easiest way is to divide four tablespoons of olive oil into two. So, you will put 2 tablespoons while cooking the sauce and then drizzle 2 more tablespoons after turning the heat off. A premium olive oil will add that amazing delicious earthy taste to the sauce. By the way, don’t be afraid to add your favorite organic bottled tomato sauce. It works like magic! It not only makes your sauce more delicious, it also adds more to the quantity. Overall, the key is the harmony of spices so make sure you put the right amount then later you can make it your own kind of harmony!
Let’s talk about the pasta: What makes a pasta taste good? To me, it’s very simple because most pasta recipes have standard pasta ingredients and what really makes a world of difference is when it’s organic—homemade or store-bought—it must be organic. But if you have a regular pasta that will do just fine. You can use any type of pasta, in general, it will taste the same. You wouldn’t even notice the difference if you’re new in the kitchen. Just sprinkle some Himalayan Pink salt in the boiling water and some olive oil just before dropping the pasta into the water to make sure it has some taste on its own. It will also prevent the pasta from sticking together at the bottom of the pan. Also, make sure you put a lot of water so that the pasta freely moves around and cooks well. I remember my mom uses only one brand of pasta since we were little and it wasn’t organic but it did achieve the “al dente” kind of feel every single time. If I’m not mistaken the brand is “Royal”. I haven’t found it here anywhere in my area but it sure was my mom’s favorite. Also, the sauce she makes is so complete you wouldn’t want to eat anything else if you come to our home for a party. I don’t think I will be able to copy her signature spaghetti because she uses so many different types of sauces aside from real tomatoes. She also adds meat and hotdogs and a very creamy cheese on top. One day I will ask her recipe for it but right now I want to continue on this health journey where we use very little meat just for flavor. Nonetheless, tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, folate, vitamin c, potassium, and vitamin k. All of these antioxidants and vitamins help prevent heart diseases and cancers. Maybe this is why in the Balkans, they call tomatoes “paradais” or paradise because they regard it as fruit from paradise! They can make many dishes with just tomatoes on the menu.
We wish you a great and healthy lunch wherever you are! May the Lord bless your food to heal your body. Don’t forget to pray and give thanks before you eat. Much love from us!
2 four quart saucepan
mortar and pestle
1 lb Brown organic/Semolina/Whole wheat pasta
10-14 organic plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided into two)
1 whole peeled garlic
1 tbsp dried basil or 1 cup of fresh basil chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp fennel (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Himalayan pink salt/sea salt to taste
1. Chop plum tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces with skin and seeds and put in the saucepan.
2. Using mortar and pestle pound the whole garlic. When it breaks apart with the skin still on pound on it until the skin separates from the flesh. Remove the skin and discard. Continue pounding on the garlic until its pasty in texture. Add to the chopped tomatoes.
3. Over medium-high heat put the 4-quart saucepan (with chopped tomatoes and pasty garlic mixture) and cook covered for about 10 minutes. Check if the tomatoes are already soft. Mix with spoon ladle and then drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. If you want to use butter and add your favorite bottled pasta sauce this is the best time to add it. Mix them all together while pressing the tomatoes against the pan with the spoon ladle.
4. Add the herbs and pepper. Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes until the water evaporates but not completely. Add the pink salt and taste.
Meanwhile… as you’re waiting for the pasta sauce…
1. Over medium-high heat and using a 4-Quart saucepan put 2-3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add a dash of salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Put the pasta in and let cook covered or uncovered for 5-8 minutes. Using a fork or spider ladle gets one strand and slice or bite. If you see a little white spot in the middle lower the fire. Let it cook for a minute or two. Turn off heat.
2. Put a strainer in the sink and pour the pasta to drain. Once it’s drained add it to the pasta sauce and mix. Serve while hot. Add some parmesan cheese and a toasted bread. It’s also good with a freshly squeezed orange or pineapple juice. Enjoy!
1. Wash the salmon over cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Put salt and pepper all over.
2. Over high heat and using a frying pan, pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil and warm up for a good 30 seconds. Do not let the oil reach smoking point. Put the salmon with the skin down. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes until you can move it freely. If you try moving the salmon and it’s still stuck in the pan don’t force to turn it over or the skin will come off. Once it’s freely moving it will be crispy. Turn it over and cook the other side for 1 minute. Use as topping for the spaghetti. Garnish with cilantro.
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