Recipes to perk up your appetite

There’s nothing wrong with spaghetti and tomato sauce, done well it's sublime, but it’s a mistake to see it as the quintessential pasta dish.

 

The Nigerian idea of pasta, (Spaghetti, macaroni and the likes) is usually made in two ways.

Either its made in the jollof rice way or simply with sauce.

If you are prepared to travel you can nose out other gems.

Fideuà is a Spanish dish – a bit like paella – in which short pasta noodles are simmered in fish stock, the stock being absorbed as it cooks.

This method goes against everything you’ve ever been taught about cooking pasta, but served, as is traditional, with garlicky aïoli, which melts into the noodles, it’s the kind of dish you’d get on a plane for.

Then there’s kushary, a spicy Egyptian assembly of rice, lentils and pasta topped with caramelised onions and hot tomato sauce.

It’s a comforting dish but an exciting one too because of the spicing and textural contrast.

This Turkish pasta dish of lamb-stuffed ravioli is very old – it originated in Mongolia – and is really surprising; pasta but not as you know it.

It’s served with two sauces: a yogurt one and a spicy butter one.

If you want to go closer to the original, but still don’t want to stuff pasta, fried and spiced lamb (chopped into little chunks and cooked with cinnamon and chilli) would be a good addition.

Just a few technical notes to take home. Pasta is not supposed to simmer.

Make sure you put it in a big saucepan too, and cook it in plenty of water.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce? Pasta just doesn’t end there.

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