Spaghetti with tomato sauce is probably one of the most popular, quick meals in the west. I believe it has the same status as instant noodles in Asia, though it’s slightly “healthier” than instant noodles as the spaghetti is boiled instead of deep-fried. Not to mention, nowadays whole-wheat spaghetti is available in the market, so whenever I spot some, I will always buy it.
As for tomato, there has been a debate going on about whether it’s better to eat it raw or cooked. In my humble opinion, both work. According to a study, the lycopene, a powerful antioxidant in tomato is more available when cooked at high temperature. But as you probably already know, high temperature destroys also some enzymes, vitamins and minerals. So my suggestion is to eat both, depending on the weather and your mood. ;-) I eat more raw food when it’s really hot, and cooked when it’s cold.
This basic tomato sauce is so easy to prepare, and tastes much better than commercial bottles or cans (not to mention it doesn’t have the preservatives!). So spend half an hour preparing it, and you will have 3-4 portions of sauce ready for your busy week. ;-)
Health Index: ⅘ (4 to 5 times a week)
Kitchen Gadgets: Frying Pan
4 medium sized tomatoes
¼ large red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 canned tomato paste (200g)
1 tsp basil (or 1 tbsp fresh)
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp olive oil for the pasta if you prepare it ahead
1. Chop the tomatoes and crush the garlic.
2. Boil the spaghetti for 8 minutes, set aside in a bowl. Add a little olive oil and mix well so it doesn’t stick together.
3. Heat the stainless steel pan for 2 minutes, turn down to medium heat, add the olive oil and turn around the pan to let the oil coat the bottom of the pan.
4. Add crushed garlic and onion and sauté for 4 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Add the canned tomato paste, basil, oregano and sea salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Serve with freshly ground black pepper on the top!