Erin's self-sufficiency blog

Dedicated to sharing my efforts in radical homemaking, self-sufficiency, simplicity, and general craftiness on a very, very small budget.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Poverty Pasta

By some miracle, it seems that, even when I use the world's worst ingredients, my pasta sauce is about a billion times better than that drivel that you buy in a jar.

For the inspiration for this recipe, I am equally indebted to Marcella Hazan (patron saint of Italian food), Chef Tony (, and the tightfists at Canada and British Columbia Student Loans.

Spaghetti alla Starving Student

3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced as finely as possible
1/2 tsp stale hot ground chilis (adjust to your taste)
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp insipid white cooking wine
1 can inferior diced tomatoes
salt to taste
enough spaghetti to feed you, gluten-free or regular as required

In a heavy-bottomed pan, fry garlic in olive oil until fragrant but not coloured. Add chilli powder and fry briefly. Pour in wine, stirring. Add tomato paste and stir to make a thick sauce. Add your tomatoes, lower heat to medium low, and cook, uncovered, until sauce is thick and liquid is gone, about 1 hour. Remember to stir occasionally so that the sauce does not burn. In the meantime, boil plenty of salted water in a large pot. (If you use a small pot, your pasta will stick together. Don't say I didn't warn you.) Cook until soft but firm. Drain. Put on plate and put sauce on top. Add low-quality parmesan cheese and eat. Be amazed that some people will willingly suffer through jarred sauce.