My Weekend Pasta

April 15, 2011

I don’t quite know what it is about a plate of pasta, but it is my most loved weekend lunch. Twirling my spaghettoni strands as the sun peeks through the window is, to me, a true picture of romance.

Perhaps I am so in love with this ritual as it makes me feel incredibly Italian. My family is well aware of my desire to live in Sicily, I adore it and am utterly enamoured with their food culture. Alas, for now I will have to settle for winsome, sunny meals like this. I suppose that isn’t so bad…

My Weekend Pasta

Serves two


200g Spaghettoni (or another long, dreamy, twirly pasta. No offence to penne or the like. I just like to twirl. Barilla is my favourite brand)
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
400g tin diced Tomatoes (I like the flavour of La Gina diced tomatoes best. Or you could use 2-3 diced vine-ripened tomatoes)
1/2 a 700g bottle of Bertolli Provvista Sugo Classica (I say this brand in particular as I am yet to find another passata that surpasses it’s beautiful flavour and plump consistency)
1 big handful fresh Basil, ~10 large leaves (I like my basil)
A pinch of Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Pepper to taste
Freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano to serve (or as good quality Parmesan you can find)


In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and sauté until fragrant and ever so lightly coloured – don’t burn it! Add in the diced tomatoes and Bertolli sugo, along with the fresh basil, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Turn up the heat to medium-high and cook until the sauce is bubbling, then turn it down to a gentle simmer. You are likely to have leftover sauce, and I like to use it during the week for another pasta meal or perhaps for breakfast atop toasted bread with poached eggs.

Cook your pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions until al dente. Overcooking your pasta is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Al dente pasta is absolutely one of the best things in the world, it totally transforms you pasta dish, so pay attention!

Divide the pasta onto two plates (or bowls) and top with the tomato, basil sauce. Finish the dish with a scattering of parmesan and more fresh basil.


With a fork and spoon in your hands, close your eyes and picture you’re sitting in a sunny, golden tinged, fruit-tree filled courtyard in Ortygia, the smell of the salty sea lingering in the air. Now twirl and enjoy this weekend delight. Happiness.

Buon Appetito!

Heidi xo
  • Hannah April 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Delicious!! 🙂 I love my weekend pasta too! I make something similar but sometimes add lentils to the bolognese.
    Hannah x

  • Poptartlr April 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

    That looks lovely! I tend not to cook pasta at home – but I do love a good traditional italian restaurant dinner:)

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    That is one lovely looking bowl of pasta!!!

  • Lisa April 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Thank goodness I brought pasta for lunch today! You have once again made my mouth water at your delicious food.

    My only change would be that pene is my favourite pasta. Intrinsically it is all made of the same stuff so isn't it interesting how much the shape influences what people like?

    Now just to convince my brain that lunch is still several hours away and to leave my pork/beef/eggplant ragout in the fridge!

  • Michelle Chin April 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I'm going to make pasta this sunday too!

  • Heidi April 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Hannah – sounds great!

    Poptartlr – I used to be the same, but now I love making pasta at home. Especially homemade pasta! But that's another story… 🙂

    Lisa – thank you!

    Lisa – awe thank you 🙂 it is funny how people prefer different shapes. I also love tortiglioni – big tubes! Hope lunch was yummy, it sounds absolutely delicious!

    Michelle – yum, have fun!

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah April 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This is something I've never grown up eating, as my mum is allergic to tomatoes and wheat (amongst others). It looks so glorious, though, I really should try it!

  • littleaspects April 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Snap – that is pretty much exactly the same as our Friday night pasta (except I splash some wine into the sauce just before adding the tomatoes so that it cooks off a bit). I can think of no better weekend dinner! Best served with a glass of wine, good company and a good movie!!

  • Blithely Unaware April 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    This sounds sensational… I'm thinking it could be a strong weekend meal contender!

  • Anna Johnston April 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Heidi darling, I am cooking this for dinner tonight. It's Mr HG's fav. Stay tuned to see my recipe, its been in the family for like 80 years. So good! 🙂 Love the visual you painted. Very relaxing. Ill bring the vino!

  • Heidi April 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Hannah – I cannot imagine growing up not eating this! You should definitely try it 🙂

    littleaspects – exactly, sounds absolutely perfect 😉

    Blithely Unaware – yay!! 😀

    Anna – thanks so much, lovely 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef April 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Love a big bowl of tomatoey pasta too. My favourite brand is San Remo gluten free.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I'm definitely going to try that brand of passata now! That looks delicious! 😀

  • tinytearoom April 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I prefer La Gina for diced tomatoes too! I'll have to grab a bottle of the passata you recommend since we liek the same brand of tinned tomatoes.

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 17, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I never was a pasta eater so much (ealier because my mom usually made rice or potatoes, later due to wheat), and I still like rice better (rice with tomato sauce like that is fabulous, btw), but recently I've discovered brown rice pasta, so I'm looking forward to trying some pasta dishes. 🙂 Yours looks very good! 😀

  • Heidi April 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    InTolerant Chef – thanks for the GF tip!

    Lorraine – yes do, I love it so much 🙂

    tinytearoom – snap! Hope you like it 🙂

    Kath – yes there are great options out there now for the wheat sensitive – brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta. Enjoy!

    Heidi xo

  • Iron Chef Shellie April 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I love simple dishes like this! looks gorgeous 🙂 x