Martha Stewart irritates me. Maybe I’m a small, petty person for saying so, but she does. Everything is so fussy, and anal, and perfect. Ugh. I want to go over there and spill stuff on her counter, rumple her bed, put a few stacks of laundry in the corner of her living room, plant a dust bunny under her armchair! My house has never looked like anything in her magazine or TV show, and if it did it would probably drive me insane. I need a little clutter. I need some randomness. I don’t want to spend hours preparing a meal or cleaning my house, managing every tiny detail. But to give her a tiny bit of credit, she sometimes has some good ideas.
I was watching a show once and Martha had a segment on there where she made a super quick spaghetti recipe using just a few ingredients. I don’t remember the recipe; I didn’t write it down. But it planted a seed that got me experimenting on my own. Before that, whenever I made homemade spaghetti sauce it was a long process, chop, chop, simmer, simmer, stir, stir, wait, wait! But then Martha inspired me to try quicker, fresher, and simpler. And I never went back. And for that one thing, I don’t totally hate her. So thank you, Martha. Although…I hope next time you make spaghetti, you splatter some sauce on your shirt. 🙂
I make many different versions of this pasta, but they all start with a few simple ingredients: a big can of tomatoes, fresh basil, lots of garlic. Beyond that, I add things depending on my mood, and what’s available in my kitchen. This is one of our favorite incarnations of this particular dish.
Angel Hair with Green & Black Olives
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red peppers
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup fresh basil, rolled and sliced into strips
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Put a pot of water on to boil and while it heats, prepare the sauce. Puree the can of tomatoes in a blender or food processor. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so until fragrant. Add the tomatoes. Add olives and crushed red peppers. Stir to combine. Once you have the sauce started you can add the pasta to the boiling water. Angel hair pasta only takes about 5 minutes to cook, so watch it closely and don’t overcook. Add fresh basil to the sauce, taste it and see if it needs salt and pepper. The olives are pretty salty, so usually it doesn’t need much. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Toss. Serve hot, topped with parmesan cheese.
Incidentally, this is also great leftover for breakfast or lunch the next day, hot or cold.