Pasta is the best. It cooks quickly and simply, doesn’t need much to make it great, and is the medium for any number of wonderful sauces. I had a request from my most important taste-tester for a basic pasta sauce post, with one tomato and one oil-based recipe, so here goes. Both recipes have very few ingredients, so the quality of them is really important, particularly the tomatoes, olive oil, and most importantly the pasta. If you’re going simple, you might as well spend a little extra to make sure the dish is as good as it can be. And it can be really, really good. Also both sauces come together in the time it takes to cook the pasta and can be adapted to any situation or ingredient you might encounter.

Easy Pasta Sauce v.1: Olive Oil
Serves 1 hungry person, 20 minutes

1/2 pound pasta (preferably something a little interesting in shape)
2 Tbsp. of your best olive oil, extra virgin if you have it
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
Salt and pepper, freshly ground if possible
Parmesan cheese

1. Start your water boiling, salt it well (1 Tablespoon at least). When it’s boiling and the pasta’s in, pour the olive oil into a small sauce or frying pan and turn the heat to low. Add the sliced garlic. It should NOT FRY, seriously don’t let it start frying, you just want it to cook lightly.

2. When the pasta’s ready (keep it al dente), drain it and pour the drained pasta back into the pot you cooked it in. Pour the olive oil and garlic onto it while still hot and stir the whole mix. Plate it, add salt, pepper, parmesan to taste. That’s it.

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Easy Pasta Sauce v.2: Tomato
Serves 1 hungry person, 20 minutes

1/2 pound pasta (preferably something a little interesting in shape)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (with basil is good)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, freshly ground if possible
Parmesan cheese

1. Once the pasta’s in, put the tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to simmer/boil put the garlic and seasonings in. Simmer for a few minutes to cook the garlic.

2. Drain the pasta, add the sauce, plate, top with parmesan. Not so bad, huh?

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