Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spaghetti with broccoli and spinach in tomato sauce

What's smoking my chimney today? It's Italian food. I love Italian food. Well, who doesn't???
Italians are very warm hearted and that overflows into their food as well. Pizza, pasta, Parmesan topped lasagna, tiramisu, pannacotta and the list goes on and on. Just the thought of these makes me go bonkers.
In Rome, I was surprised at how pizza's were served. They come in the form of sandwiches. One square slice of pizza topped with another inverted slice. Yes, that's the way it's served in Rome.It tasted great. They looked sandwich-ish but tasted pizza- ish. This style of serving pizza is good for tourists who just grab and eat on the run. No mess, no fuss.
Anyway, I don't know why I'm harping on pizza when today's recipe is spaghetti served with broccoli and spinach in tomato sauce. In summer I use fresh tomatoes for this sauce. But, in winter, since we hardly get good tomatoes, I opt for the canned ones.

The secret of a great tasting sauce is to cover and cook it for about 20-30 mins on low heat, stiriing occasionally. But if you don't have that much time on your hands, just cook the sauce for 10 minutes.

Ingredients: (sauce serves 5-6 )
  • Olive oil- 3 tbspns
  • Onions - 1 large (sliced)
  • Garlic - 5 cloves
  • Tomato paste - 2 tbspns
  • Diced Tomato - 1 (30 oz.) can ( substitute with 12-13 fresh tomatoes)
  • Carrot - 1 (chopped)
  • Chilli powder - 1 tspn( or to taste)
  • Salt- to taste
  • Sugar - 2 tspns
  • Half and half or cream or evaporated milk - 1/4 cup
  • Vegetable stock - 1/4 cup( can be substituted with water)
  • Dried oregano leaves - 1/2 tspn
  • Basil - 14-15 leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup
  • Steamed broccoli florets - 2 cups
  • Spinach - 1/2 bunch( chopped)
  • Any variety of pasta - As much as required.
  • Heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Add garlic and onions and saute till translucent.( about 3-4 mins)
  • Add carrots and saute another minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and and stir for a minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, chilli powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Cover and let it cook on low flame for a minimum of 10 minutes. (The sauce tastes better if it is cooked for 20-30 mins on low flame. If you don't have the time for that, then 10 mins. is sufficient)
  • In the mean time, cook the pasta according to the directions specified on your pasta packet.( All you need to do is boil the pasta in salted water for the time specified on the pasta packet and then strain it. I have used thick spaghetti. I just had to boil it in salted water for 15 minutes. I add a few drops of oil to the salted water to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Stir pasta occasionally while it cooks.)
  • When the sauce is cooked, transfer it to a blender and make a puree.
  • Return the sauce to the pot and heat. ( be cautious as the sauce tends to splatter when the puree is heated)
  • Add the chopped spinach, oregano, basil, half and half or cream and the vegetable stock. Stir well and let it cook for a minute.
  • Turn of heat and add the steamed broccoli. Stir gently.
  • Serve pasta with this sauce and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Luv 'n' luc'


  1. I am really happy to invite you to participate in the contest that is getting launced on Feb 20 2009 - check out this link for details - http://justurs.blogspot.com/2009/02/magnificent-click-contest-2009.html contest.

  2. Hi smitha,

    yeah that would be the rite way to post the entry..
    you are so sweet, i will never even think of banning you dear...


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