Short of time and money? With just a few staples you can instantly whip up a delicious pasta dish, explains Laura Paton
We’ve all been there: you get home after a long day only to find that the fridge is bare. The thought of a trip to the shops has you heading for the sofa, and even if you could muster the energy, you know you’d be wandering the aisles aimlessly for ages before anything made its way into your basket.
Instead, why not grab a few ingredients you’re bound to have languishing at the back of the cupboard, and you can be enjoying a tasty bowl of pasta in less than an hour – and with very little effort. Plus, it’s a lot healthier than takeaway pizza!
Thrifty tinned sardines are packed with omega-3 and extremely versatile – not to mention full of flavour – so are worth having on standby for speedy suppers.
Use up leftover bread by finishing this dish with a crunchy, golden topping of fried breadcrumbs, pepped up with parsley and lemon zest.
SARDINE SPAGHETTI WITH PARSLEY AND LEMON BREADCRUMBS
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
A pinch of chilli flakes
2x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
1 tsp caster sugar
2x 120g tins sardines in olive oil, drained and broken into small chunks
Salt and pepper
For the breadcrumbs:
Olive oil 100g breadcrumbs (from a crusty loaf or ciabatta)
A large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook for 2 minutes then tip in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Fill one empty tin with water and add to the pan.
- Stir in the sugar and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the breadcrumbs: heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the breadcrumbs for 3 minutes, or until golden. Tip into a bowl and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Drain the pasta.
- Stir the sardines into the sauce. Check the seasoning.
- Tip the pasta into the sauce and stir until well coated.
- Divide between four bowls and top with a generous scattering of breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.