Recipe of the Week: Pasta Sauce for the Time Poor

I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it. - Bill Gates

I lose interest in things pretty quickly. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a millennial or because it’s the result of the instant-gratification-based lifestyle here in the West, and to be honest, I’m not interested in finding out. What I am sure of is that I love to do to things efficiently and effectively. The quicker the better, as long as whatever it is I’m doing is working.

Italian Influence

Growing up in Canada with an Italian background meant food was the centre of life for me. My family did everything around food. Celebrations and holidays, even funerals, always focused on home-grown, homemade meals that took hours, if not days, of preparation and planning.

For example, every year my grandfather spends days and sometimes weeks preparing tomatoes for pasta sauce. He spends days sorting, washing, and boiling the tomatoes; seasoning them just right, jarring them, and so on, so that the family can have cold-cellars full of jars of pasta sauce to last until the next year.

Simmering the Sauce

My relatives then use this sauce to make our meals. But it isn’t just a matter of pouring the contents out and heating it up. No. My mother, for example, would put the sauce on the stove at about 9am and let it simmer from morning until evening, adding various ingredients and simmering the tang out of the tomatoes just to have the perfect sauce for dinner at around 7pm. (Side note: Italians don’t put sugar in their tomato sauce to cut the tang, and you shouldn’t either).

Although good quality, traditionally-made tomato sauce brings tears of joy to my eyes, I simply don’t have the drive or desire to spend hours of my life dedicated to food preparation.

Cutting Corners

Being a nutritionist and knowing that what we put in our bodies literally becomes us, I don’t want to reach for the processed stuff either. So I’ve cut corners. Lots of corners. And I’ve nailed what I think is a perfect compromise when it comes to pasta sauce.

If you’re looking for gourmet, you might want to skip this one. But if you’re into something that’s yummy, healthy, quick to cook, and affordable, this pasta is for you.

Organic Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 basil leaves 1 BPA-free
400g can peeled tomatoes (try to get something imported from Italy)
1 handful mushrooms of your choice, sliced
1 - 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 pinch of chilli flakes
Optional 1-2 shots of preservative-free red wine (stale is fine)
Sea salt to taste
1 cup or however much you can eat of a pasta of your choice

Easy Instructions

Open the can of tomatoes and dump contents into saucepan. Chop the tomatoes up a bit with a fork or whatever utensil wont scratch your pan.
Add 1/2 can of filtered water.
Begin to simmer, and add olive oil, spices, and the rest of the ingredients.
Put a lid on the pan, leaving a small gap to allow the alcohol to simmer out. Believe it or not, you’re basically done.
Simmer on medium for 10 - 20 minutes while you boil your pasta (following instructions on bag or box) and possibly prepare a side-salad.

I used a kamut fusilli imported from Italy for my pasta, but you can use whatever you’d like. Once your pasta is tender and you’re ready to eat, plate the pasta and spoon your sauce on top. Garnish with basil leaves.

Serve and enjoy.

Recipe by Marisa Falconi