This is a family staple, though I do alter it so much it’s like a new meal every time. My boy prefers to just have pasta and olives – he’s a purist. But my girl loves the lot! It serves about 3 – 4 people.
3/4 packet GF pasta or 1 whole packet GF spaghetti. (Add more for more people)
1 stock cube (optional) chicken stock works best. We use Massel, which is vegetarian.
pinch of dried basil
pinch of chilli flakes
1/2 bottle red wine (optional)
1/2 jar cut and seeded kalamata olives
1 small jar/pack of tomato paste
2 pieces de-boned chicken thighs or 1/3 kg mince (optional)
pinch of dried rosemary
pinch of dried thyme
1 tsp or more dried parsley
pinch of sugar
1. If using meat, put it in a saucepan of boiling water. Boil until cooked or almost cooked. If using chicken, remove part way through and cut into small pieces. This works with frozen meats as well.
2. Now put on pasta to boil using instructions on packet.
3. Drain water off meat. You can save a bit of this water if you want to add back later.
4. Put back onto stove and add olive oil. Stir to coat everything so it doesn’t burn.
5. Now add the chopped zucchini. Start here for vegetarian version.
6. Let it cook for a few minutes. Then add the wine or stock cube plus water (or reserved liquid). Stir.
7. Add chopped tomatoes. Stir.
8. Add tomato paste. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. If there is wine in it, you want it to boil a bit.
9. Add the herbs and spices and stir them in. Add the sugar. (This gets rid of the bitter tomato paste flavour.)
10. Add the olives. Let it cook until it’s cooked through.
11. Drain pasta when it’s cooked.
12. Serve with cheese grated on top. Any cheese works. Even vegan cheese.
NB. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use canned – but then don’t add the tomato paste and sugar.