Pasta, or Spaghetti as we call it, is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine. While it is originally by the Italians, different cultures and countries, have their different ways of eating pasta or making it. There are many kinds of pasta including – Bigoli, Fedelini, Spaghettini, and so much more. Spaghetti just happens to be the commonest one in this part of the world.
While they typically can be prepared the same way, we’ll focus on Spaghetti. In Nigeria, spaghetti has been used as a full meal, a side dish, and even something you take before an actual meal is ready. As a result of the many ways it is put to use, there are various ways it can be prepared.
Here are just some of them.
- Plain Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce
Plain Spaghetti and sauce or stew, is probably the easiest spaghetti recipe there is. It is the commonest in preparation as it basically takes 10 minutes to prepare. As long as you have the stew or sauce you intend to use for it already prepared, all you have to do is prepare the pasta. To prepare it, you simply have to bring water to a boil in a pot and add the pasta. It is advisable to parboil it, before finally cooking it with salt. Serve with stew or any sauce of your choice.
- Jollof Spaghetti
While there are probably different names this spaghetti and tomato sauce combo is called, in Nigeria, we call it Jollof Spaghetti. The name stems from the fact that its preparation follows the same pattern as Jollof Rice. Parboil the Spaghetti in a separate pot and keep it. To make the Jollof Spaghetti, fry onions, tomato paste, and blended pepper in olive or vegetable oil until it fries well. Add seasoning, stock, and the meat or fish you intend to put in it. Finally, add the spaghetti and wait for it to cook. This is also fairly easy to prepare and you can jazz it up as much as you want. For example, you could add ginger or nutmeg to add to the taste. This is perfect for a main dish.
- Tomato and Garlic Pasta
Don’t let this name fool you. This meal is also very easy to prepare. After parboiling the pasta till it is al dente, get a separate pot and heat up olive or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until it is crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Mix in diced tomatoes, diced peppers, diced carrots, seasoning, and any other extra ingredient of your choice. Cook it all up then add the pasta and stir. You’ll have a wonderful dish that can be served with wine for a romantic dinner. Try not to use too much garlic so as not to overpower the taste and you’ll love it.
- Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese is a wonderful meal that tastes simply spectacular. Making it is also super easy. All you have to do is cook up your spaghetti using the same process from number (1), and then make the Bolognese sauce. Place a frying pan on fire and add oil. Add garlic (if you want), fry onions, and let it simmer till it’s translucent. Add minced meat (available in supermarkets) and stir till the beef browns up. Pour blended tomatoes into the beef and add the remaining ingredients to season it. You can choose to serve the Bolognese sauce on the pasta or you can mix it.