Simple hacks to store bought spaghetti sauce makes this a sublime, satisfying meal. I had this first at a Telugu friend's place - she tweaked a storebought ragu sauce with some Indian spices, and chili powder and I loved it. As a new immigrant who wasn't used to eating sweetish tomato sauce with pasta, this made it very palatable. Not just palatable, but it became a family favorite, when I added some vegetables - fresh carrots, spinach, broccoli... Try it! It comes in handy on those busy nights, but you won't feel guilty about opening a jar of store bought sauce.
1jarready to use pasta sauceOr: use a couple of cans of peeled, crushed tomatoes and some tomato paste
1/4cupExtra virgin olive oilgood, fruity brand
1tspchili powderless or more per your heat tolerance
1/2cupcarrotsin sticks, or circles
1tspitalian herbsUse if making fresh pasta sauce, optional if using store bought sauce
1packetspaghetti of your choice
Boil water for the pasta, add salt to season
Heat a sauce pan, add the olive oil and let it heat up
When not too hot, add the crushed garlic
Don't let the garlic burn or get brown; add the carrots, and any other vegetable you're using (not spinach at this stage)
Add the chili powder, and salt for the carrots, and saute for about 3-4 minutes, until carrots are slightly tender
Add the pasta sauce now, and the spinach and simmer on low heat
While the sauce is simmering, cook pasta in the boiling water per package instructions
When the pasta is ready, remove from the pot with a pasta ladle, and add directly into the sauce
Mix everything up and garnish with plenty of fresh basil
Serve with grated fresh parmesan or any cheese of your choice; I served with no cheese, with a tall glass of ice cold milk
I have made this recipe since the kids were in middle school, and it's a much loved easy dinner on busy week nights. My daughter loves this with a glass of ice cold milk. Carrots and spinach are my son's favorites in this recipe, and I love that it makes them eat healthy.
Supplement with bread, and a green salad for a total balanced meal!