Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spaghetti marinara

This is one of my favourite meals, and it’s so easy!! I can’t believe I haven’t shared this with you yet..!  Originally stolen from Mum's cookboook, and I make it from memory these days, so am no longer sure how closely it resembles the original!

This serves two, or I just reserve half the sauce (before the seafood is added) and freeze if cooking for one – and adjust the pasta/seafood quantities.

Finely chop half an onion, and soften on medium heat with a little oil. Once softened, push to one side and drop in a teaspoon of butter. Add a teaspoon of crushed garlic (1-2 cloves) and stir until golden (careful not to burn it). 036

Pour in one tin of chopped tomatoes. Crumble in one chicken stock cube, and add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir, then turn down to simmer while you pull the rest of the meal together. It will transform from this:


To this:

While the sauce is doing its thing, put a pot or water of to boil (for the spaghetti) and heat a frypan with a little oil and butter. The seafood will take about the same time as the pasta (depending on the grade of your spaghetti – should take 5-7 minutes if it’s not the thick stuff).

Brown the seafood on a medium-high heat. The browning comes more from the butter than from the heat, so be careful not to over-heat your pan or the meat will be leathery and tough.


This is just over-the-counter marinara mix. I usually grab portions of scallops, prawns, and white fish, but the pre-mix was just too convenient to resist, especially as I only wanted a single portion. No idea why they insist on adding parsley to it, though!

Check and drain the pasta, and then add the seafood to the sauce. If it has thickened more than you’d like, just thin out with a splash of water, or white wine.

Throw it all together, and enjoy! 



  1. Mmmm.. tried to copy that squid chilli marinara from the italian restaurant tonight - Used this sauce, with a chopped tomatoes that had chilli, basil, and oregano in it. Added a few marinated squid pieces, perfect!

  2. Yum, hope you had a nice wine with it! ;)

    My favorite variation on this is a smoky, spicy version that I've spent a couple of years trying to get just right .. Had the best spag marinate at Mecca in Chancery, Auckland and have been trying to re-create it since! Will share soon..

  3. Yum - another variation: 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, pinch of chili, and prawns.
    Squeeze lime on top and serve.

    Such a hard life here with food like this...