A few years back, while studying in Japan, our cafeteria used to have a 'veggie spa' (veg spaghetti). I remember surviving on it for the whole time that I was there.
So simple and such beautiful flavors! I would always try and peek into the open kitchen to try and see what all ingredients they would add, or ask my friends who would be working part time there, but it was supposed to be a TOP secret!
A few months back, I had this insane craving for this 'spa' and had to had to try recreating it.
And to my surprise, I am ALMOST close to the same taste that the cafeteria would serve!
Definitely a must try. Absolutely delicious, super simple and quick!
20 - 25 minutes
200 deg Centigrade
40 - 45 minutes
Red Chilli powder /
Red Chilli Flakes
2- 3 cloves, large
2 - 3 tbsp
2 - 3 tbsp
1 - 1.5 tbsp
1.5 tbsp (kashmiri chilli powder)
1 tbsp (1 tsp) OR depending on your taste
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Prepare the oven tray by lining it with aluminum foil.
Wash and cut the tomatoes into halves, remove the eye of the tomato, and arrange them on the lined tray.
Roast in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, till they leave out water and the skin becomes roasted.
chop the onions into chunks, peel and slice the garlic, pluck and wash the basil leaves, get the salt, sugar and red chilli powders handy.
Roughly chop the roasted tomatoes into chunks and do not throw away the water that oozed into the oven tray.
Keep the tomato paste ready.
Add a few of the washed basil leaves and allow them to cook with the garlic for a few seconds stirring frequently.
Add the roughly chopped onions and stir. Allow them to cook till they are translucent.
Once the red chilli powder is cooked, add the tomato paste and saute for a few seconds till it oozes out the oil. I like using tomato paste as it gives a bit of a body / thickness to the sauce.
Add the remaining basil leaves, salt and sugar, stir well and cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes on a high flame.
Do not add any extra water to it, as while getting cooked, the tomatoes will ooze out extra water.
If you think the sauce is runny or watery, keep the lid off the casserole and allow the sauce to boil for a few extra minutes.
One of our Italian friends has been telling us to cook the pasta in the sauce, and NOT boil it separately and add the sauce on it. This makes the sauce thicker and the pasta taste more flavoursome too. I haven't tried that yet, but next time will surely do. In case you try doing that, please do let me know how different did the taste turn out.